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CHRONICLES OF CANADA 

Edited by George M. Wrong and H. H. Langton 

In thirty-two volumes 



18 

THE ^ADVENTURERS OF 
ENGLAND' ON HUDSON BAY 

BY AGNES C. LAUT 



Part VI 

Pioneers of the North and West 




PRINCE RUPERT 
From the painting in the National rorliail Gallery 



THE 'ADVENTURERS 
OF ENGLAND' ON 

HUDSON BAY 

A Chronicle of the Fur Trade 
in the North 

BY 

AGNES C. LAUT 




TORONTO 

GLASGOW, BROOK & COMPANY 
1914 



Copyright in all Countries subscribing to 
the Berne Convention 



CONTENTS 



I. THE FUR HUNTERS . 
II. THE TRAGEDY OF HENRY HUDSON 

III. OTHER EXPLORERS ON THE BAY 

IV. THE 'ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND' 
V, FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 

VI. THE GREAT OVERLAND RAID . 
VII. YEARS OF DISASTER 
VIII. EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE . 
INDEX 



Page 

I 

9 
23 
34 
SI 
73 
8g 
103 

I2S 
129 



0:0 4 /<^,J 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

PRINCE RUPERT ..... Frontispiece 
From the painting^ in the National Portrait Gallery. 

A VIEW OF THE INTERIOR OF OLD FORT 

GARRY ...... Facing page 2 

Drawn by H. A. Strong-. 

TRACK SURVEY OF THE SASKATCHEV/AN 
BETWEEN CEDAR LAKE AND LAKE 
WINNIPEG 4 

THE PRINCIPAL POSTS OF THE HUDSON'S 

BAY COMPANY „ 6 

Map by Bartholomew. 

THE ROUTES OF HUDSON AND MUNCK . „ lo 

Map by Bartholomew. 

THE LAST HOURS OF HUDSON . . „ i8 

From the painting- by Collier. 

JOHN CHURCHILL, FIRST DUKE OF MARL- 
BOROUGH ,,42 

From the painting in the National Portrait Gallery. 

ON THE HAYES RIVER .... » S8 

From a photograph by R. W. Brock. 

ENTRANCE TO THE NELSON AND HAYES 

RIVERS 6o 

Map by Bartholomew. 

A CAMP IN THE SWAMP COUNTRY . . „ I20 

From a photograph. 



CHAPTER I 

THE FUR HUNTERS 

Thirty or more years ago, one who stood at 
the foot of Main Street, Winnipeg, in front 
of the stone gate leading to the inner court 
of Fort Garry, and looked up across the 
river flats, would have seen a procession as 
picturesque as ever graced the streets of old 
Quebec — the dog brigades of the Hudson's 
Bay Company coming in from the winter's 
hunt. 

Against the rolling snowdrifts appeared a 
line, at first grotesquely dwarfed under the 
mock suns of the eastern sky veiled in a soft 
frost fog. Then a husky-dog in bells and har- 
ness bounced up over the drifts, followed by 
another and yet another — eight or ten dogs to 
each long, low toboggan that slid along loaded 
and heaped with peltry. Beside each sleigh 
emerged out of the haze the form of the driver 
— a swarthy fellow, on snow-shoes, with hair 
bound back by a red scarf, and corduroy 



2 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

trousers belted in by another red scarf, and fur 
gauntlets to his elbows — flourishing his whip 
and yelling, in a high, snarling falsetto, 
* marche ! marche ! ' — the rallying-cry of the 
French woodrunner since first he set out from 
Quebec in the sixteen-hundreds to thread his 
way westward through the wilds of the con- 
tinent. 

Behind at a sort of dog-trot came women, 
clothed in skirts and shawls made of red and 
green blankets ; papooses in moss bags on 
their mothers' backs, their little heads wobbling 
under the fur flaps and capotes. Then, as 
the dog teams sped from a trot to a gallop 
with whoops and jingling of bells, there 
whipped past a long, low, toboggan-shaped 
sleigh with the fastest dogs and the finest 
robes — the equipage of the chief factor or 
trader. Before the spectator could take in 
any more of the scene, dogs and sleighs, 
runners and women, had swept inside the 
gate. 

At a still earlier period, say in the seventies, 
one who in summer chanced to be on Lake 
Winnipeg at the mouth of the great Saskat- 
chewan river — which, by countless portages 
and interlinking lakes, is connected with all the 
vast water systems of the North — would have 



THE FUR HUNTERS 3 

seen the fur traders sweeping down in huge 
flotillas of canoes and flat-bottomed Mackinaw 
boats — exultant after running the Grand Rapids, 
where the waters of the Great Plains converge 
to a width of some hundred rods and rush nine 
miles over rocks the size of a house in a furious 
cataract. 

Summer or winter, it was a life of wild 
adventure and daily romance. 

Here on the Saskatchewan every paddle-dip, 
every twist and turn of the supple canoes, 
revealed some new caprice of the river's moods. 
In places the current would be shallow and the 
canoes would lag. Then the paddlers must catch 
the veer of the flow or they would presently 
be out waist-deep shoving cargo and craft off 
sand bars. Again, as at Grand Rapids, where 
the banks were rock-faced and sheer, the 
canoes would run merrily in swift-flowing 
waters. No wonder the Indian voyageurs re- 
garded all rivers as living personalities and 
made the River Goddess offerings of tobacco 
for fair wind and good voyage. And it is 
to be kept in mind that no river like the 
Saskatchewan can be permanently mapped. 
No map or chart of such a river could serve 
its purpose for more than a year. Chart it 
to-day, and perhaps to-morrow it jumps its 



4 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

river bed ; and where was a current is now 
a swampy lake in which the paddlemen may 
lose their way. 

When the waters chanced to be low at Grand 
Rapids, showing huge rocks through the white 
spray, cargoes would be unloaded and the 
peltry sent across the nine-mile portage by 
tramway ; but when the river was high — as 
in June after the melting of the mountain 
snows — the voyageurs were always keen for 
the excitement of making the descent by 
canoe. Lestang, M'Kay, Mackenzie, a dozen 
famous guides, could boast two trips a day 
down the rapids, without so much as grazing 
a paddle on the rocks. Indeed, the different 
crews would race each other into the very 
vortex of the wildest water ; and woe betide 
the old voyageur whose crew failed of the strong 
pull into the right current just when the craft 
took the plunge ! Here, where the waters 
of the vast prairie region are descending over 
huge boulders and rocky islets between banks 
not a third of a mile apart, there is a wild river 
scene. Far ahead the paddlers can hear the 
roar of the swirl. Now the surface of the river 
rounds and rises in the eddies of an undertow, 
and the canoe leaps forward ; then, a swifter 
plunge through the middle of a furious overfall. 







TRACK SURVEY 
of the 

SASKATCHEWAN 

between 

CEDAR LAKE & LAKE WINNIPEG 

Showing the Grand Rapid 




THE FUR HUNTERS 5 

The steersman rises at the stern and leans 
forward like a runner. 

* Pull ! * shouts the steersman ; and the 
canoe shoots past one rock to catch the current 
that will whirl it past the next, every man bend- 
ing to his paddle and almost lifted to his feet. 
The canoe catches the right current and is 
catapulted past the roaring place where rocks 
make the water white. Instantly all but the 
steersman drop down, flat in the bottom of the 
canoe, paddles rigid athwart. No need to pull 
now ! The waters do the work ; and motion 
on the part of the men would be fatal; Here 
the strongest swimmer would be as a chip on a 
cataract. The task now is not to paddle, but 
to steer — to keep the craft away from the rocks. 
This is the part of the steersman, who stands 
braced to his paddle used rudder-wise astern ; 
and the canoe rides the wildest plunge like a 
sea-gull. One after another the brigades dis- 
appear in a white trough of spray and roaring 
waters. They are gone ! No human power 
can bring them out of that maelstrom ! But 
look ! like corks on a wave, mounting and 
climbing and riding the highest billows, there 
they are again, one after another, sidling and 
lifting and falling and finally gliding out to 
calm water, where the men fall to their 



6 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

paddles and strike up one of their lusty 
voyageur songs ! 

The Company would not venture its peltry 
on the lower rapid where the river rushes 
down almost like a waterfall. Above this the 
cargoes were transferred to the portage, and 
prosaically sent over the hill on a tram-car 
pulled by a horse. The men, however, would 
not be robbed of the glee of running that last 
rapid, and, with just enough weight for ballast 
in their canoes and boats, they would make the 
furious descent. 

At the head of the tramway on the Grand 
Rapids portage stands the Great House, facing 
old warehouses through which have passed 
millions of dollars' worth of furs. The Great 
House is gambrel-roofed and is built of heavily 
timbered logs whitewashed. Round it is a 
picket fence ; below are wine cellars. It is 
dismantled and empty now ; but here no doubt 
good wines abounded and big oaths rolled in 
the days when the lords of an unmapped empire 
held sway. 

A glance at the map of the Hudson's Bay 
Company's posts will show the extent of the 
fur traders' empire. To the Athabaska ware- 
houses at Fort Chipewyan came the furs of 
Mackenzie river and the Arctic ; to Fort 



THE FUR HUNTERS 7 

Edmonton came the furs of the Athabaska and 
of the Rockies ; to Fort Pitt came the peltry 
of the Barren Lands ; and all passed down the 
broad highway of the Saskatchewan to Lake 
Winnipeg, whence they were sent out to York 
Factory on Hudson Bay, there to be loaded 
on ships and taken to the Company's ware- 
houses in London. 

Incidentally, the fur hunters were explorers 
who had blazed a trail across a continent and 
penetrated to. the uttermost reaches of a 
northern empire the size of Europe. But it was 
fur these explorers were seeking when they 
pushed their canoes up the Saskatchewan, 
crossed the Rocky Mountains, went down the 
Columbia. Fur, not glory, was the quest 
when the dog bells went ringing over the wintry 
wastes from Saskatchewan to Athabaska, 
across the Barren Lands, and north to the 
Arctic. Beaver, not empire, was the object 
in view when the horse brigades of one hundred 
and two hundred and three hundred hunters, 
led by Ogden, or Ross, or M'Kay, or Ermatinger 
went winding south over the mountains from 
New Caledonia through the country that now 
comprises the states of Washington and 
Oregon and Idaho, across the deserts of Utah 



8 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

and Nevada, to the Spanish forts at San 
Francisco and Monterey. It is a question 
whether La Salle could have found his way to 
the Mississippi, or Radisson to the North Sea, 
or Mackenzie to the Pacific, if the little beaver 
had not inspired the search and paid the toll. 



CHAPTER II 

THE TRAGEDY OF HENRY HUDSON 

Though the adventurers to Hudson Bay turned 
to fur trading and won wealth, and discovered 
an empire while pursuing the little beaver 
across a continent, the beginning of all this 
was not the beaver, but a myth — the North- 
West Passage — a short way round the world 
to bring back the spices and silks and teas of 
India and Japan. It was this quest, not the 
lure of the beaver, that first brought men into 
the heart of New World wilds by way of 
Hudson Bay. 

In this search Henry Hudson led the way 
when he sent his little high-decked oak craft, 
the Discovery^ butting through the ice-drive 
of Hudson Strait in July of 1610 ; * worming 
a way ' through the floes by anchor out to the 
fore and a pull on the rope from behind. 
Smith, Wolstenholme, and Digges, the English 
merchant adventurers who had supplied him 
with money for his brig and crew, cared for 



lo THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

nothing but the short route to those spices and 
silks of the orient. They thought, since 
Hudson's progress had been blocked the year 
before in the same search up the bay of Chesa- 
peake and up the Hudson river, that the only 
remaining way must lie through these northern 
straits. So now thought Hudson, as the ice 
jams closed behind him and a clear way opened 
before him to the west on a great inland sea 
that rocked to an ocean tide. 

Was that tide from the Pacific ? How easily 
does a wish become father to the thought ! 
Ice lay north, open water south and west ; 
and so south-west steered Hudson, standing by 
the wheel, though Juet, the old mate, raged in 
open mutiny because not enough provisions 
remained to warrant further voyaging, much 
less the wintering of a crew of twenty in an ice- 
locked world. Henry Greene, a gutter-snipe 
picked off the streets of London, as the most of 
the sailors of that day were, went whispering 
from man to man of the crew that the master's 
commands to go on ought not to be obeyed. 
But we must not forget two things when we sit 
in judgment on Henry Hudson's crew. First, 
nearly all sailors of that period were unwilling 
men seized forcibly and put on board. Secondly, 
in those days nearly all seamen, masters as 



THE TRAGEDY OF HENRY HUDSON ii 

well as men, were apt to turn pirate at the sight 
of an alien sail. The ships of all foreign 
nations were considered lawful prey to the 
mariner with the stronger crew or fleeter sail. 
The waters that we know to-day as the 
Pacific were known to Hudson as the South 
Sea. And now the tide rolled south over 
shelving, sandy shores, past countless islands 
yellowing to the touch of September frosts, 
and silent as death but for the cries of gull, 
tern, bittern, the hooting piebald loon, match- 
legged phalaropes, and geese and ducks of 
every hue, collected for the autumnal flight 
south. It was a yellowish sea under a sky 
blue as turquoise ; and it may be that Hudson 
recalled sailor yarns of China's seas, lying 
yellow under skies blue as a robin's egg. At 
any rate he continued to steer south in spite 
of the old mate's mutterings. Men in unwilling 
service at a few shillings a month do not court 
death for the sake of glory. The shore line 
of rocks and pine turned westward. So did 
Hudson, sounding the ship's line as he crept 
forward one sail up, the others rattling against 
the bare masts in the autumn wind — doleful 
music to the thoughts of the coward crew. 
The shore line at the south end of Hudson Bay, 
as the world now knows, is cut sharply by a 



12 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

ridge of swampy land that shoals to muddy 
flats in what is known as Hannah Bay. 

Hudson's hopes must have been dimmed if 
not dashed as he saw the western shore turn 
north and bar his way. He must suddenly 
have understood the force of the fear that his 
provisions would not last him to England if 
this course did not open towards China. It 
was now October ; and the furious equinoctial 
gales lashed the shallow sea to mountainous 
waves that swept clear over the decks of the 
Discovery, knocking the sailors from the 
capstan bars and setting all the lee scuppers 
spouting. In a rage Juet threw down his pole 
and declared that he would serve no longer. 
Hudson was compelled to arrest his old mate 
for mutiny and depose him with loss of wages. 
The trial brought out the fact that the crew 
had been plotting to break open the lockers and 
seize firearms. It must be remembered that 
most of Hudson's sailors were ragged, under- 
fed, under-clothed fellows, ill fitted for the 
rigorous climate of the north and unmoved 
by the glorious aims that, like a star of ^ope, 
led Hudson on. They saw no star of hope, and 
felt only hunger and cold and that dislike of the 
hardships of life which is the birthright of the 
weakling, as well as his Nemesis. 



THE TRAGEDY OF HENRY HUDSON 13 

What with the north wind driving water 
back up the shallows, and with tamarac swamps 
on the landward side, Hudson deemed it un- 
wise to anchor for the winter in the western 
corner of the Bay, and came back to the waters 
that, from the description of the hills, may now 
be identified as Rupert Bay, in the south-east 
corner. The furious autumn winds hobbled 
the little high-decked ship about on the water 
like a chip in a maelstrom, and finally, with a 
ripping crash that tore timbers asunder, sent 
her on the rocks, in the blackness of a 
November night. The starving crew dashed 
up the hatchway to decks glassed with ice and 
wrapped in the gloom of a snow-storm thick 
as wool. To any who have been on that shore 
in a storm it is quite unnecessary to explain 
why it was impossible to seek safety ashore by 
lowering a boat. Shallow seas always beat 
to wilder turbulence in storm than do the great 
deeps. Even so do shallow natures, and one 
can guess how the mutinous crew, stung into 
unwonted fury by cold and despair, railed 
at Hudson with the rage of panic-stricken 
hysteria. But in daylight and calm, pre- 
sumably on the morning of November 11, 
drenched and cold, they reached shore safely, 
and knocked together, out of the tamarac and 



14 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

pines and rocks, some semblance of winter 
cabins. 

Of game there was abundance then, as now — 
rabbit and deer and grouse enough to provision 
an army ; and Hudson offered reward for all 
provisions brought in. But the leaven of 
rebellion had worked its mischief. The men 
would not hunt. Probably they did not know 
how. Certainly none of them had ever before 
felt such cold as this — cold that left the naked 
hand sticking to any metal that it touched, 
that filled the air with frost fog and mock suns, 
that set the wet ship's timbers crackling every 
night like musket shots, that left a lining of 
hoar-frost and snow on the under side of the 
berth-beds, that burst the great pines and fir 
trees ashore in loud nightly explosions, and set 
the air whipping in lights of unearthly splen- 
dour that passed them moving and rustling in 
curtains of blood and fire.^ As any one who 
has lived in the region knows, the cowardly 
incompetents should have been up and out 
hunting and wresting from nature the one 
means of protection against northern cold — 
fur clothing. That is the one demand the 
North makes of man — that he shall fight and 
strive for mastery ; but these whimpering 

' The Northern Lights. 



THE TRAGEDY OF HENRY HUDSON 15 

weaklings, convulsed with the poison of self- 
pity, sat inside shivering over the little pans 
and braziers of coal, cursing and cursing 
Hudson. 

In the midst of the smouldering mutiny the 
ship's gunner died, and probably because the 
gutter boy, Greene, was the most poorly clad 
of all, Hudson gave the dead man's overcoat 
to the London lad. Instantly there was wild 
outcry from the other men. It was customary 
to auction a dead seaman's clothes from the 
mainmast. Why had the commander shown 
favour ? In disgust Hudson turned the coat 
over to the new mate — thereby adding fresh 
fuel to the crew's wrath and making Greene 
a real source of danger. Greene was, to be 
sure, only a youth, but small snakes sometimes 
secrete deadly venom. 

How the winter passed there is no record, 
except that it was ' void of hope ' ; and one 
may guess the tension of the sulky atmosphere. 
The old captain, with his young son, stood his 
ground against the mutineers, like a bear baited 
by snapping curs. If they had hunted half 
as diligently as they snarled and complained, 
there would have been ample provisions and 
absolute security ; and this statement holds 
good of more complainants against life than 



1 6 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

Henry Hudson's mutinous crew. It holds 
good of nearly all mutineers against life. 

Spring came, as it always comes in that 
snow-washed northern land, with a ramp of 
the ice loosening its grip from the turbulent 
waters, and a whirr of the birds winging north 
in long, high, wedge-shaped lines, and a crunch- 
ing of the icefloes riding turbulently out to 
sea, and a piping of the odorous spring winds 
through the resinous balsam-scented woods. 
Hudson and the loyal members of the crew 
attempted to replenish provisions by fishing. 
Then a brilliant thought penetrated the wooden 
brains of the idle and incompetent crew — a 
thought that still works its poison in like 
brains of to-day — namely, if there were half 
as many people there would be twice as much 
provisions for each. 

Ice out, anchor up, the gulls and wild geese 
winging northward again — all was ready for 
sail on June i8, 1611. With the tattered 
canvas and the seams tarred and the mends in 
the hull caulked, Hudson handed out all the 
bread that was left — a pound to each man. 

He had failed to find the North-West 
Passage. He was going home a failure, 
balked, beaten, thrown back by the waves that 
had been beating the icefloes to the mournful 



THE TRAGEDY OF HENRY HUDSON 17 

call of the desolate wind all winter. There 
were tears in the eyes of the old captain as 
he handed out the last of the bread. Any 
one who has watched what snapping mongrels 
do when the big dog goes down, need not be 
told what happened now. There were whisper- 
ings that night as the ship slipped before the 
wind, whisperings and tale-bearings from berth 
to berth, threats uttered in shrill scared 
falsetto ' to end it or to mend it ; better hang 
at home for mutiny than starve at sea.' 
Prickett, the agent for the merchant adven- 
turers, pleaded for Hudson's life ; the muti- 
neers, led by Juet and Greene, roughly bade 
him look to his own. Prickett was ill in 
bed with scurvy, and the tremor of self- 
fear came into his plea. Then the mutineers 
swore on the Bible that what they planned was 
to sacrifice the lives of the few to save the 
many. When the destroyer profanes the Cross 
with unclean perjury, 'tis well to use the Cross 
for firewood and unsheath a sword. Peevish 
with sickness, Prickett punily acquiesced. 

When Hudson stepped from the wheel-house 
or cabin next morning, they leaped upon him 
like a pack of wolves. No oaths on Scripture 
and Holy Cross this break of day ! Oaths of 
another sort — oaths and blows and railings — all 



1 8 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

pretence of clean motives thrown off — malice 
with its teeth out snapping ! Somewhere 
north of Rupert, probably off Charlton Island, 
Hudson, his son, and eight loyal members of 
the crew were thrown into one of the boats 
on the davits. The boat was lowered on its 
pulleys and touched sea. The Discovery then 
spread sail and sped through open water to 
the wind. The little boat with the marooned 
crew came climbing after. Somebody threw 
into it some implements and ammunition, and 
some one cut the painter. The abandoned boat 
slacked and fell back in the wave wash ; and 
that is all we know of the end of Henry Hudson, 
who had discovered a northern sea, the size of a 
Mediterranean, that was to be a future arena 
of nations warring for an empire, and who had 
before discovered a river that was to be a path 
of world commerce. 

What became of Hudson ? A famous paint- 
ing represents him, with his little son and the 
castaway crew, huddling among the engulfing 
icebergs. That may have been ; but it is 
improbable that the dauntless old pathfinder 
would have succumbed so supinely. Three 
traditions, more or less reasonable, exist about 
his end. When Captain James came out 
twenty years later seeking the North-West 




THI': LAST HOURS OF HUDSON 
FiDin the painting by C'ollier 



THE TRAGEDY OF HENRY HUDSON 19 

Passage he found on a little island (Danby), 
south-east from Charlton Island, a number of 
sticks standing in the ground, with the chip 
marks of a steel blade. Did the old timbers 
mark some winter house of Hudson and his 
castaways ? When Radisson came cruising 
among these islands fifty years later, he dis- 
covered an old house * all marked and battered 
with bullets * ; and the Indians told Radisson 
stories of * canoes with sails ' having come to 
the Bay. Had Indians, supplied with fire- 
arms overland from Quebec traders, assailed 
that house where nine white men, standing at 
bay between starvation and their enemies, 
took their last stand ? The third tradition is 
of a later day. A few years ago a resident of 
Fort Frances, who had spent the summer at 
the foot of James Bay, and who understood the 
Indian language, wrote that the Indians had 
told him legends of white men who had come 
to the Bay long long ago, before ever * the Big 
Company came,' and who had been cast away 
by their fellows, and who came ashore and lived 
among the Indians and took Indian wives and 
left red-haired descendants. It is probable 
that fur traders had told the Indians the story 
of Hudson ; and this would explain the origin 
of this tradition. On the other hand, in a race 



20 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

utterly isolated from the outside world, among 
whom neither printing nor telegraph ever 
existed, traditions handed down from father 
to son acquire peculiar value ; and in them we 
can often find a germ of truth. The legends are 
given for what they are worth. 

There is no need to relate the fate of the 
mutineers. The fate of mutineers is the same 
the world over. They quarrelled among them- 
selves. They lost themselves among the ice- 
fioes. When they found their way back 
through the straits all provisions were ex- 
hausted. While they were prisoners in the ice- 
floes, scurvy assailed the crew. Landing to 
gather sorrel grass as an antidote to scurvy, 
they were attacked by Eskimos. Only four 
men were left to man the ship home, and they 
were reduced to a diet of sea moss and offal 
before reaching Ireland. Greene perished 
miserably among the Indians, and his body 
was thrown into the sea. Old Juet died of 
starvation in sight of Ireland, raving impotent 
curses. But however dire Nemesis may be, 
or however deep may be repentance, neither 
undoes the wrong ; and Hudson had gone to 
his unknown grave, sent thither by imbeciles, 
who would not work that they might eat, nor 
strive that they might win, but sat crouching, 



THE TRAGEDY OF HENRY HUDSON 21 

as their prototypes sit, ready to spring at the 
throat of Endeavour. 

Thomas Button, afterwards knighted for 
his effort, came out the very next year at the 
expense of the merchant adventurers — Wolsten- 
holme. Smith, and Digges— to search for Hudson. 
He wintered (1612-13) at Port Nelson, which 
he explored and named after his mate, who 
died there of scurvy ; but the sea gave up no 
secret of its dead. Prickett and Bylot, of 
Hudson's former crew, were there also with 
the old ship Discovery and a large frigate 
called Resolution, an appropriate name. 
Button's crew became infected with scurvy, 
and Port Nelson a camp for the dead. Then 
came Captain Gibbon in 1614 ; but the ice 
caught him at Labrador and turned him back. 
The merchant adventurers then fitted out 
Bylot, Hudson's second mate, and in 16 15- 16 
he searched the desolate, lonely northern 
waters. He found no trace of Hudson, nor a 
passage to the South Sea ; but he gave his 
mate's name — Baffin — to the lonely land that 
lines the northern side of the straits. Novelists 
are frequently accused of sensationalism and 
exaggeration, but if, as tradition seems to 
suggest, Hudson were still alive seven hundred 
miles south at the lower end of the Bay, strain- 



22 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

ing vain eyes for a sail at sea, like Alexander 
Selkirk of a later day — with a Button and a 
Gibbon and a Bylot and a Baffin searching for 
him with echoing cannon roll and useless call 
in the north — then the life and death of the old 
pathfinder are more like a tale krom Defoe 
than a story of real life. 

The English merchant adventurers then gave 
up — possibly for the very good reason that 
they had emptied their purses. This brings 
us to the year 1617 with no North- West 
Passage discovered, and very little other re- 
ward for the toll of life and heroism during 
seven years. 

Superficially, when we contemplate such 
failure, it looks like the broken arc of a circle ; 
but when we find the whole circle we see that 
it is made up very largely of broken endeavour, 
and that Destiny has shaped the wheel to roll 
to undreamed ends. There was no practicable 
North -West Passage, as we know ; but the 
search for such a passage gave to the world 
a new empire. 



CHAPTER III 

OTHER EXPLORERS ON THE BAY 

Little Denmark, whose conquering Vikings 
on their * sea horses * had scoured the coasts 
of Europe, now comes on the scene. Hudson, 
an Englishman, had discovered the Bay, but 
the port of Churchill, later to become an im- 
portant post of the fur trade, was discovered 
by Jens Munck, the Dane. In the autumn of 
1619 Munck came across the Bay with two 
vessels — the Unicorn, a warship with sea horses 
on its carved prow, and the Lamprey, a com- 
panion sloop-^scudding before an equinoctial 
squall. Through a hurricane of sleet he saw 
what appeared to be an inlet between breakers 
lashing against the rocky west shore. Steer- 
ing the Unicorn for the opening, he found 
himself in a land-locked haven, protected from 
the tidal bore by a ridge of sunken rock. The 
Lamprey had fallen behind, but fires of drift- 
wood built on the shore guided her into the 
harbour, and Munck constructed an ice-break 

as 



24 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

round the keels of his ships. Piles of rocks 
sunk as a coffer-dam protected the boats 
from the indrive of tidal ice ; and the Danes 
prepared to winter in the new harbour. To- 
day there are no forests within miles of 
Churchill, but at that time pine woods crowded 
to the water's edge, and the crews laid up a 
great store of firewood. With rocks, they 
built fireplaces on the decks — a paltry pro- 
tection against the northern cold. Later ex- 
plorers wintering at Churchill boarded up their 
decks completely and against the boarding 
banked snow, but this method of preparation 
against an Arctic winter was evidently un- 
known to the Danes. 

By November every glass vessel on the ships 
had been broken to splinters by the frost. In 
the lurid mock suns and mock moons of the 
frost fog the superstitious sailors fancied that 
they saw the ominous sign of the Cross, por- 
tending disaster. One of the surgeons died of 
exposure, and within a month all the crew 
were prostrate with scurvy. With the excep- 
tion, perhaps, of Bering's voyage a hundred 
years later, the record of Munck's wintering is 
one of the most lamentable in all American 
exploration. * Died this day my Nephew, 
Eric Munck,* wrote the captain on April i of 



OTHER EXPLORERS ON THE BAY 25 

1620, ' and was buried in the same grave as 
my second mate. Great difficulty to get 
coffins made. May 6 — The bodies of the dead 
lie uncovered because none of us has strength 
to bury them.' 

By June the ships had become charnel- 
houses. Two men only, besides Munck, had 
survived the winter. When the ice went out 
with a rush and a grinding, and the ebb tide 
left the flats bare, wolves came nightly, sniffing 
the air and prowling round the ships' exposed 
keels. ' As I have no more hope of life in 
this world,' wrote Jens Munck, * herewith 
good-night to all the world and my soul to 
God.' His two companions had managed to 
crawl down the ship's ladder and across the 
flats, where they fell ravenously on the green 
sprouting sorrel grass and sea nettles. As all 
northerners know, they could have eaten 
nothing better for scurvy. Forthwith their 
malady was allayed. In a few days they came 
back for their commander. By June 26 all 
three had recovered. 

The putrid dead were thrown into the river. 
Ballast and cargo were then cast out. It 
thus happened that when the tide came in, the 
little sloop Lamprey lifted and floated out to 
sea. Munck had drilled holes in the hull of 



26 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

the Unicorn and sunk her with all her freight 
till he could come back with an adequate crew ; 
but he never returned. War broke out in 
Europe, and Munck went to his place in the 
Danish Navy. 

Meanwhile Indians had come down to 
what they henceforth called the River of the 
Strangers. When the tide went out they 
mounted the Unicorn and plundered her of all 
the water-soaked cargo. In the cargo were 
quantities of powder. A fire was kindled to 
dry the booty. At once a consuming flame 
shot into the air, followed by a terrific ex- 
plosion ; and when the smoke cleared neither 
plunder nor plunderers nor ship remained. 
Eighty years afterwards the fur traders dug 
from these river flats a sunken cannon 
stamped C 4 — Christian IV — and thus estab- 
lished the identity of Munck's winter quarters 
as Churchill harbour. 

Munck was not the last soldier of fortune to 
essay passage to China through the ice-bound 
North Sea. Captain Fox of Hull and Captain 
James of Bristol came out in 1631 on separ- 
ate expeditions, * itching,' as Fox expressed 
it, to find the North-West Passage. Private 
individuals had fitted out both expeditions. 
Fox claimed the immediate patronage of the 



OTHER EXPLORERS ON THE BAY 27 

king ; James came out under the auspices of 
the city of Bristol. Sailing the same week, 
they did not again meet till they were south of 
Port Nelson in the autumn, when Fox dined 
with James and chaffed him about his hopes 
to * meet the Emperor of Japan.* But there 
was no need of rivalry ; both went back dis- 
appointed men. James wintered on Charlton 
Island, and towards the end of 1632, after a 
summer's futile cruising, returned to England 
with a terrible tale of bootless suffering. 

While England sought a short route to China 
by Hudson Bay, and the Spaniards were still 
hoping to find a way to the orient by the Gulf 
of Mexico and California, New France had 
been founded, and, as we may learn from other 
narratives in this series, her explorers had not 
been idle. 

In the year 1660 two French pathfinders and 
fur traders, Medard Chouart des Groseilliers 
and Pierre Esprit Radisson, men of Three 
Rivers, came back from the region west of 
Lake Superior telling wondrous tales of a tribe 
of Indians they had met — a Cree nation that 
passed each summer on the salt waters of 
the Sea of the North. The two fur traders 
were related, Radisson's sister having married 



28 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

Groseilliers, who was a veteran of one of the 
Jesuit missions on Lake Huron. Radisson 
himself, although the hero of many exploits, 
was not yet twenty-six years of age. Did that 
Sea of the North of which they had heard find 
western outlet by the long-sought passage ? 
So ran rumour and conjecture concerning the 
two explorers in Three Rivers and Quebec ; 
but Radisson himself writes : * We considered 
whether to reveal what we had learned, for 
we had not yet been to the Bay of the North, 
knowing only what the Crees told us. We 
wished to discover it ourselves before revealing 
anything.' 

In the execution of their bold design to 
journey to the North Sea, Radisson and 
Groseilliers had to meet the opposition of the 
Jesuits and the governor — the two most power- 
ful influences in New France. The Jesuits 
were themselves preparing for an expedition 
overland to Hudson Bay and had invited 
Radisson to join their company going by way 
of the Saguenay; but he declined, and they 
left without him. In June 1661 the Jesuits 
— Fathers Dreuilletes and Dablon — ascended 
the Saguenay, but they penetrated no farther 
than a short distance north of Lake St John, 
where they established a mission. 



OTHER EXPLORERS ON THE BAY 29 

The fur trade of New France was strictly 
regulated, and severe punishments were meted 
out to those who traded without a licence. 
Radisson and Groseilliers made formal applica- 
tion to the governor for permission to trade on 
the Sea of the North. The governor's answer 
was that he would give the explorers a licence 
if they would take with them two of his 
servants and give them half the profits ot the 
undertaking. The two explorers were not 
content with this proposal and were forbidden 
to depart ; but in defiance of the governor's 
orders they slipped out from the gates of 
Three Rivers by night and joined a band of 
Indians bound for the northern wilds. 

The two Frenchmen spent the summer and 
winter of 1661-62 in hunting with the Crees 
west of Lake Superior, where they met another 
tribe of Indians — the Stone Boilers, or Assini- 
boines — who also told them of the great salt 
water, or Sea of the North. In the spring of 
1662, with some Crees of the hinterland, they 
set out in canoes down one of the rivers — 
Moose or Abitibi — leading to Hudson Bay. 
Radisson had sprained his ankle ; and the 
long portages by the banks of the ice-laden, 
rain-swollen rivers were terrible. The rocks 
were slippery as glass with ice and moss. The 



30 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

forests of this region are full of dank heavy 
windfall that obstructs the streams and causes 
an endless succession of swamps. In these 
the paddlers had to wade to mid-waist, * track- 
ing ' their canoes through perilous passage-way, 
where the rip of an upturned branch might 
tear the birch from the bottom of the canoe. 
When the swamps finally narrowed to swift 
rivers, blankets were hoisted as sails, and the 
brigade of canoes swept out to the sandy sea 
of Hudson Bay. * We were in danger to 
perish a thousand times from the ice,' Radisson 
writes, * but at last we came full sail from a 
deep bay to the seaside, where we found an old 
house all demolished and battered with bullets. 
The Crees told us about Europeans. We went 
from isle to isle all that summer in the Bay of 
the North. We passed the summer coasting 
the seaside.' 

Had Radisson found Hudson Bay ? Some 
historians dispute his claims ; but even if his 
assertion that he sailed * from isle to isle ' 
during the summer of 1662 be challenged, the 
fact that his companion, Groseilliers, knew 
enough of the Bay to enable him six 
years later to guide a ship round by sea to 
* a rendezvous ' on the Rupert river must be 
accepted. 



OTHER EXPLORERS ON THE BAY 31 

The only immediate results of the discovery 
to Radisson and Groseilliers were condign 
punishment, disgrace, and almost utter ruin. 
When they came back to the St Lawrence in 
the summer of 1663 with several hundred 
Indians and a flotilla of canoes swarming over 
the surface of the river below the heights of 
Quebec, and conveying a great cargo of beaver 
skins, the avaricious old governor affected 
furious rage because the two traders had 
broken the law by going to the woods without 
his permission. The explorers were heavily 
fined, and a large quantity of their beaver 
was seized to satisfy the revenue tax. Of the 
immense cargo brought down, Radisson and 
Groseilliers were permitted to keep only a 
small remainder. 

Groseilliers sailed for France to appeal to 
the home authorities for redress, but the friends 
of the governor at the French court proved 
too strong for him and nothing was done. 
He then tried to interest merchants of Rochelle 
in an expedition to Hudson Bay by sea, and from 
one of them he obtained a vague promise of 
a ship for the following year. It was agreed 
that in the following spring Radisson and 
Groseilliers should join this ship at Isle Perc6 at 
the mouth of the St Lawrence. So it happened 



32 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

that, in the spring of 1664, the two explorers, 
having returned to Three Rivers, secretly took 
passage in a fishing schooner bound for Anti- 
costi, whence they went south to Isle Perce to 
meet the ship they expected from Rochelle. 
But again they were to be disappointed; a 
Jesuit just out from France informed them 
that no ship would come. What now should 
the explorers do ? They could not go back 
to Three Rivers, for their attempt to make 
another journey without a licence rendered 
them liable to punishment. They went to 
Cape Breton, and from there to the English 
at Port Royal in Nova Scotia. 

At Port Royal they found a Boston captain, 
Zachariah Gillam, who plied in vessels to and 
fro from the American Plantations to England. 
Gillam offered his vessel for a voyage to 
Hudson Bay ; but the season was late, and 
when the vessel reached the rocky walls of 
Labrador the captain lost heart and refused 
to enter the driving straits. The ship returned 
and landed the explorers in Boston. They 
then clubbed the last of their fortunes together 
and entered into an agreement with ship- 
owners of Boston to take two ships to Hudson 
Bay on their own account in the following 
spring. But, while fishing to obtain pro- 



OTHER EXPLORERS ON THE BAY 33 \ 

visions for the voyage, one of the vessels was 
wrecked, and, instead of sailing for the North ' 

Sea, Radisson and Groseilliers found them- 
selves in Boston involved in a lawsuit for the 
value of the lost ship. When they emerged I 

from this they were destitute. 1 

'{ 



CHAPTER IV 

THE 'ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND' 

In Boston the commissioners of His Majesty 
King Charles II were reviewing the affairs of 
the American Plantations. One of the com- 
missioners was Sir George Carteret, and 
when he sailed for England in August 1665 
he was accompanied by the two French 
explorers. It gives one a curiously graphic 
insight into the conditions of ocean travel in 
those days to learn that the royal commis- 
sioner's ship was attacked, boarded, and sunk 
by a Dutch filibuster. Carteret and his two 
companions landed penniless in Spain, but, by 
pawning clothes and showing letters of credit, 
they reached England early in 1666. At this 
time London was in the ravages of the Great 
Plague, and King Charles had sought safety 
from infection at Oxford. Thither Radisson and 
Groseilliers were taken and presented to the 
king ; and we may imagine how their amazing 
stories of adventure beguiled his weary hours. 

S4 



THE * ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND ' 35 

The jaded king listened and marvelled, and 
ordered that forty shillings a week should be 
paid to the two explorers during that year. 

As soon as it was safe to return to London — 
some time in the winter of 1667-68 — a group 
of courtiers became interested in the two 
Frenchmen, and forgathered with them fre- 
quently at the Goldsmiths' hall, or at Whitehall, 
or over a sumptuous feast at the Tun tavern 
or the Sun coffee-house. John Portman, a 
goldsmith and alderman, is ordered to pay 
Radisson and Groseilliers £2 to £4 a month for 
maintenance from December 1667. When 
Portman is absent the money is paid by Sir 
John Robinson, governor of the Tower, or 
Sir John Kirke — with whose family young 
Radisson seems to have resided and whose 
daughter Mary he married a few years later — 
or Sir Robert Viner, the lord mayor, or Mr 
Young, a fashionable man about town. No 
formal organization or charter yet exists, but 
it is evident that the gentlemen are bent on 
some enterprise, for Peter Romulus is engaged 
as surgeon and Thomas Gorst as secretary. 
Gillam of Boston is hired as captain, along 
with a Captain Stannard. At a merry dinner 
of the gay gentlemen at the Exchange, Captain 
Gillam presents a bill of five shillings for ' a 



36 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

rat-catcher ' for the ships. Wages of seamen 
are set down at ;£20 per voyage ; and His Most 
Gracious Majesty, King Charles, gives a gold 
chain and medal to the two Frenchmen and 
recommends them to * the Gentlemen Adven- 
turers of Hudson's Bay.' Moreover, there is a 
stock-book dated this year showing amounts 
paid in by or credited to sundry persons, among 
whom are : Prince Rupert, James, Duke of 
York, the Duke of Albemarle, the Earl of 
Craven, the Earl of Arlington, the Earl of 
Shaftesbury, Sir John Robinson, Sir Robert 
Viner, Sir Peter Colleton, Sir James Hayes, 
Sir John Kirke, and Lady Margaret Drax. 
Who was the fair and adventurous Lady 
Margaret Drax ? Did she sip wines with the 
gay adventurers over * the roasted pullets ' 
of the Tun tavern, or at the banquet table at 
Whitehall ? 

Then His Majesty the King writes to his 
* trusty and Well Beloved Brother,' James, 
Duke of York, recommending the loan of the 
Admiralty ship, the Eaglety to the two French- 
men to search for a North-West Passage by 
way of Hudson Bay, the ship ' to be rigged 
and victualled ' at the charge of ' Dear Cousin 
Rupert ' and his friends Carteret and Albe- 
marle and Craven et al. The ' Well Beloved 



THE * ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND ' 37 

Brother ' passes the order on to Prince 
Rupert, * our Dear Cousin ' ; and the * Dear 
Cousin * transmits instructions to Sir James 
Hayes, his secretary. Sir James badgers the 
Admiralty Board, and in due time the Eaglet 
is handed over to Captain Stannard, acting 
under Radisson. Gillam takes his own planta- 
tion ship, the Nonsuch, under orders from 
Groseilliers. 

The instructions to the captains are signed 
by Prince Rupert, Craven, Hayes, Albemarle, 
Carteret, Colleton, and Portman. These in- 
structions bid the captains convey the vessels 
to the place where * the rendezvous was set 
up as Mr Gooseberry and Mr Radisson direct, 
there to raise fortifications,' having ' in thought 
the discovery of a passage to the South Sea 
under direction of Mr Gooseberry and Radisson,* 
and to prosecute trade always under directions 
of Mr Gooseberry and Mr Radisson, and to have 
' a particular [sic] respect unto them with all 
manner of civility and courtesy.' 

Dear old Company ! From its very origin 
it conformed to the canons of gentlemanly 
conduct and laid more emphasis on courtesy 
than on spelling. Those curious instructions 
were indicative of its character in later times. 
But we quite understand that there was other 






38 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

object in that voyage than the North- West 
Passage. 

The two ships sailed for Hudson Bay in the 
spring of 1668. In mid-ocean they were driven 
apart by storms. Gillam's Nonsuch with 
Groseilliers went on, but the Eaglet with 
Radisson was disabled and forced to return, and 
the season was now too late to permit Radisson 
to set sail again until the following spring. 

During the interval of enforced idleness 
Radisson seems to have diligently courted Mary 
Kirke, the daughter of Sir John, and to have 
written the account of his journeys through the 
wilds of America. It is possible that Radisson 
was inspired to write these journals by Pepys, 
the celebrated diarist, who was at this time 
chief clerk of the Admiralty, and who lived 
next door to the Kirkes on Tower Hill. At any 
rate it is clear that the journals fell into Pepys* 
hands, for they were found two hundred years 
later in the Pepys collection at the Bodleian 
Library. 

In the spring of 1669, on the recommenda- 
tion of the king, the Admiralty lent the ship 
Wavero to the adventurers that Radisson 
might sail to Hudson Bay. In his eagerness 
Radisson set out too early. For a second 
time he was driven back by storm, but, on 



THE ' ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND ' 39 

coming in to harbour at Gravesend, what was 
his delight to find the Nonsuch back from 
Hudson Bay with Groseilliers and Gillam and 
such a cargo of furs from the Rupert river as 
English merchants had never before dreamed ! 
The Nonsuch had reached Hudson Strait 
in August of the year before, and the captain, 
guided by Groseilliers, had steered south for 
* the rendezvous ' at the lower end of the Bay, 
where the two French explorers had set up 
their marks six years before. There, at the 
mouth of the river named Rupert in honour 
of their patron prince, the traders cast anchor 
on September 25. At high tide they beached 
the ship and piled logs round her to protect her 
timbers from ice jams. Then they built a 
fort, consisting of two or three log huts for 
winter quarters, enclosed in a log palisade. 
This they named Fort Charles. The winter 
that followed must have been full of hard- 
ship for the Englishmen, but a winter on the 
Bay had no terrors for Groseilliers. While 
Gillam and the Englishmen kept house at 
the fort, he coursed the woods on snow- 
shoes, found the Indian camps, and per- 
suaded the hunters to bring down their furs 
to trade with him in the spring. Then, 
when the wild geese darkened the sky and the 



40 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

ice went out with a rush, preparations were 
made for the homeward voyage. In June the 
ship sailed out of the Bay and, as we have seen, 
had docked at Gravesend on the Thames while 
the Wavero with Radisson was coming back. 

The adventurers lost no time. That winter 
they applied for a charter, and in May 1670 
the charter was granted by King Charles to 
* The Governor and Company of Adventurers 
of England trading into Hudson's Bay.^ The 
ostensible object was to find the North-West 
Passage ; and to defray the cost of that find- 
ing a monopoly in trade for all time was given. 

Whereas, declares the old charter, these 
have at their own great cost and charge under- 
taken an expedition to Hudson Bay for the 
discovery of a new passage to the South Sea and 
for trade, and have humbly besought the king 
to grant them and their successors the whole 
trade and commerce of all those seas, straits, 
bays, rivers, creeks, and sounds in whatever 
latitude that lie within the entrance of the 
straits, together with all the lands, countries, 
and territories upon the coasts and confines 
of the seas, straits, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks, 
and sounds not now actually possessed by any 
other Christian state, be it known by these 
presents that the king has given, granted. 



THE * ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND ' 41 

ratified, and confirmed the said grant. The 
adventurers are free to build forts, employ a 
navy, use firearms, pass and enforce laws, hold 
power of life and death over their subjects. 
They are granted, not only the whole, entire, 
and only liberty of trade to and from the 
territories aforesaid, but also the whole and 
entire trade to and from nations adjacent to 
the said territories, and entrance by water or 
land in and out of the said territories. 

The monopoly could hardly have been made 
more sweeping. If the adventurers found 
other territory westward, such territory was 
to be theirs. Other traders were forbidden to 
encroach on the region. People were forbidden 
to inhabit the countries without the consent of 
the Company. The Company was empowered 
to make war for the benefit of trade. The 
charter meant, in a word, the establishment of 
pure feudalism over a vast region in America. 
But in the light of the Company's record it may 
be questioned whether feudalism was not, after 
all, the best system for dealing with the Indian 
races. For two centuries under the Company's 
rule the Indians were peaceable ; while in 
other parts of America, under a system the 
opposite of feudalism — the come-who-may- 
and-take-who-can policy of the United States — 



42 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

every step forward taken by the white race was 
marked by * bloody ground.' 

Absolutism, pomp, formality, and, let it be 
added, a sense of personal responsibility for 
retainers — all characteristics of feudalism — 
marked the rule of the Hudson's Bay Company 
from the beginning. The adventurers were 
not merely merchants and traders ; they were 
courtiers and princes as well. Rupert, a 
prince of royal blood, was the first governor ; 
James, Duke of York, afterwards king, was 
the second, and Lord Churchill, afterwards the 
Duke of Marlborough, the third. The annual 
meetings of shareholders in November and the 
periodic meetings of the Governing Committee 
were held at Whitehall, or at the Tower, or 
wherever the court chanced to be residing. 
All shareholders had to take an oath of fidelity 
and secrecy: '/ doe sweare to bee True and 
faithful to ye Corny'' y of Adventurers: ye 
secrets of ye said Comp'y I will not disclose, 
nor trade to ye limitts of ye said Comp^y\s 
charter. So help 7ne God.'' Oaths of fidelity 
and bonds were required from all captains, 
traders, and servants. Presents of * catt skin 
counterpanes for his bedd,' ' pairs of beaver 
stockings for ye King,* * gold in a faire 
embroidered purse,' * silver tankards,* * a hogs- 




JOHN CHURCHILL, FIRST DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH 

I'rom the painling in ihc Natiunal Turlrail (jalleiy 



THE * ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND ' 43 

head of claret,' were presented to courtiers 
and friends who did the Company a good 
turn. Servants were treated with a paternal 
care. Did a man lose a toe on some frosty- 
snow-shoe tramp, the Governing Committee 
solemnly voted him * £4 smart money,' or 

* £1 for a periwig,' or * £10 a year pension 
for life.' No matter to what desperate straits 
the Company was reduced, it never forgot a 
captain who had saved a cargo from raid, or 
the hero of a fight, or a wood-runner who had 
carried trade inland. For those who died in 
harness, * funeral by torch-light and linkmen 
[torchbearers] to St Paul's, Company and crew 
marching in procession, cost not to exceed 
;^20 ' ; and though the cost might run up 
higher, it was duly paid, as in one instance on 
record when the good gentlemen at the funeral 
had * 2 pullets and a dozen bottles of sack * 
over it at the Three Tuns. 

Perhaps the gay gentlemen of the Governing 
Committee made merry too long at times, for 
it appears to have been necessary to impose a 
fine on all committee men who did not attend 

* yt one hour after ye deputy-governor turns 
up ye hour glass,' the fines to go to the Poor 
Box as * token of gratitude for God's so great 
a blessing to ye Comp'y.* 



44 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

In February the Governing Committee was 
always in a great bustle chartering or buying 
frigates for the year's voyages. Then the 
goods for trade, to be exchanged with the 
Indians for furs, were chosen and stored. In 
the list for 1672 are found * 200 fowling pieces 
and 400 powder horns and 500 hatchets.* 
Gewgaws, beads, ribbons, and blankets in- 
numerable were taken on the voyages, and 
always more or less liquor ; but the latter, it 
should be remarked, was not traded to the 
Indians except in times of keen competition, 
when the Company had to fight rivals who used 
it in trade. Secret orders were given to the 
captains before sailing. These orders contained 
the harbour signals. Ships not displaying these 
signals were to be fired on by the forts of 
Hudson Bay or lured to wreck by false lights. 
The sailing orders were always signed * a God 
speede, a good wind, a faire saile, y'r loving 
friends ' ; and the gentlemen of the Committee 
usually went down to the docks at Gravesend 
to search lockers for illicit trade, to shake 
hands and toss a sovereign and quaff drinks. 
From the point where a returning ship was 
* bespoken ' the chief trader would take horse 
and ride post-haste to London with the bills 
and journals of the voyage. These would be 



THE ' ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND ' 45 

used to check unlading. Next, the sorting of 
the furs, the pa3mient of the seamen's wages — 
about ;£20 per year to each man ; then the 
public auction of the furs. A pin would be 
stuck in a lighted candle and bids received till 
the light burnt below the pin. Sack and 
canary and claret were served freely at the 
sales. Money accruing from sales was kept 
in an iron box at the Goldsmiths' exchange, 
and later in the warehouse in Fenchurch 
Street. 

Trading in the early days was conducted 
with a ceremony such as kings might have 
practised in international treaty. Dressed in 
regimentals, with coloured velvet capes lined 
with silk, swords clanking, buglers and 
drummers rattling a tattoo, the white trader 
walked out to meet the Indian chief. The 
Indian prostrated himself and presented the 
kingly white man with priceless furs. The 
white man kneeled and whiffed pipes and 
thanked the Sun for the privilege of meeting 
so great warriors, and through his interpreters 
begged to present the Great Chief with what 
would render him invincible among all foes — 
firearms. Then with much parleying the little 
furs such as rabbit and muskrat were exchanged 
for the gewgaws. 



46 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

Later, the coming of rival traders compelled 
the Company to change its methods and to fix 
a standard of trade. This standard varied 
with the supply of furs and the caprice of 
fashion ; but at first in respect to beaver it 
stood thus : 

beaver. 



1 lb. beads . 




I kettle 




I lb. shot . 




5 lbs. sugar 




I lb. tobacco 




1 gal. brandy 




2 awls . 




12 buttons . 




20 fish-hooks 




20 flints 




I gun 


12 


I pistol 


4 


8 balls 


I 



A wicket would be opened at the side of the 
main gate of the fort. Up to this wicket the 
Indians would file with their furs and exchange 
them according to the standard. Tally was 
kept at first with wampum shells or little 
sticks ; then with bits of lead melted from tea- 
chests and stamped with the initials of the 
fort. Finally these devices were supplanted 



THE * ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND ' 47 

by modern money. We may suppose that the 
red man was amply able to take care of him- 
self in the trade, especially when rivals at 
other points were bidding for the furs. If the 
white man's terms were exorbitant and no 
rival trader was within reach, the Indian's 
remedy was a scalping foray. Oftener than 
not the Indian was in debt for provisions 
advanced before the hunt. If the Indian 
forgot his debt or carried his fur to a com- 
petitor, as he often did in whole flotillas, the 
white man would have his revenge some season 
when food was scarce ; or, if his physical 
prowess permitted, he would take his revenge 
on the spot by administering a sound thrashing 
to the transgressor. It is on record that one 
trader, in the early days of Moose Factory, 
broke an oar while chastising an Indian who 
had failed in his duty. 

Many of the lonely bachelors at the forts 
contracted marriage with native women. These 
marriages were entered on the books of the 
Company, and were considered as valid as if 
bound by clergy. Sometimes they led to un- 
happy results. When men returned from the 
service, the Indian wife, transplanted to 
England, lived in wretched loneliness ; and 
the children — ' les petits,' as they are entered 



48 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

in the books — were still less at home amid 
English civilization. Gradually it became 
customary to leave the Indian women in their 
native land and to support them with a pension 
deducted from the wages of the retired husband 
and father. This pension was assured by the 
Company's system of holding back one-third 
of its servants' wages for a retiring fund. If 
a servant had left any * petits ' behind him, a 
sum of money was withheld from his wages 
to provide a pension for them, and a record 
of it was kept on the books. This rule applied 
even to men who were distinguished in the 
service. 

In June 1670, one month after the charter 
was granted, three ships — the Wavero, the 
Shaftesbury Pink^ and the Prince Rupert— 
conveying forty men and a cargo of supplies, 
sailed for Hudson Bay. Gillam commanded 
the Prince Rupert^ Radisson went as general 
superintendent of trade, and Charles Bayly as 
governor of the fort at the Rupert river. Gorst 
the secretary, Romulus the surgeon, and 
Groseilliers accompanied the expedition. The 
ships duly arrived at Fort Charles, and, while 
Bayly and his men prepared the fort for 
residence and Groseilliers plied trade with the 



THE * ADVENTURERS OF ENGLAND' 49 

Indians, Radisson cruised the west coast of the 
Bay on the Wavero. He made observations 
at Moose and Albany rivers, and passed north 
to Nelson harbour, where Button had wintered 
half a century before. Here, on the pro- 
jection of land between two great rivers — the 
future site of York Factory — Radisson erected 
the arms of the English king. The southern 
river he named Hayes, after Sir James Hayes, 
Prince Rupert's secretary. The mouth of this 
river was a good place to get furs, for down its 
broad tide came the canoes of the Assiniboines, 
the ' Stone Boilers ' whom Radisson had met 
near Lake Superior long ago, and of the Crees, 
who had first told him of the Sea of the North. 
Radisson returned to England with Gillam 
on the Prince Ttwperty while Groseilliers 
wintered on the Bay; and it appears that, 
during the next three years, Radisson spent 
the winters in London advising the Company, 
and the summers on the Bay, cruising and 
trading on the west coast. In 1672 he married 
Mary Kirke. Sir James Hayes said afterwards 
that he ' misled her into marrying him,' but 
there is nothing to show that the wife herself 
ever thought so. Perhaps Radisson hoped 
that his marriage to the daughter of one of 
the leading directors of the Company would 

A.H.B. D 



50 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

strengthen his position. He received £ioo a 
year for his services, but, although his efforts 
had turned a visionary search for the North- 
West Passage into a prosperous trading 
enterprise, he was not a shareholder in the 
Company. 



CHAPTER V 

FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 

Every year three ships were sailing to the Bay 
and returning to England laden with peltry ; 
but in 1672 it was observed by the traders at 
the fort that fewer Indians than usual came 
down the river with furs. In the next year 
there were still fewer. For some reason the 
trade was falling off. Radisson urged Bayly 
to establish new forts on the west coast, and at 
length the governor consented to go with him 
on his regular summer cruise to Nelson. 
When they came back to Rupert in August 
they were surprised to find the fort tenanted 
by a Jesuit from Quebec, Father Albanel, who 
handed letters to Radisson and Groseilliers, and 
passports from the governor of New France 
to Bayly. The sudden decrease of trade was 
explained. French traders coming overland 
from the St Lawrence had been intercepting 
the Indians. But France and England were 
at peace and bound in closest amity by secret 

61 



52 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

treaty, and Bayly was compelled to receive 
the passports and to welcome the Jesuit, as 
the representative of a friendly nation, to the 
hospitality of Fort Charles. What the letters 
to Radisson and Groseilliers contained we can 
only guess, but we do know that their contents 
made the French explorers thoroughly dis- 
satisfied with their position in the Hudson's 
Bay Company. Bayly accused the two 
Frenchmen of being in collusion with the 
Company's rivals. A quarrel followed and 
at this juncture Captain Gillam arrived on 
one of the Company's ships. The French- 
men were suspected of treachery, and 
Gillam suggested that they should return to 
England and explain what seemed to need 
explaining. 

The Admiralty records for 1674 contain 
mention of Captain Gillam's arrival from 
Hudson Bay on the Shafleshury Pink with * a 
French Jesuit, a little ould man, and an 
Indian, a very lusty man.' This Jesuit could 
not have been Albanel, for in the French 
archives is conclusive proof that Albanel re- 
turned to Quebec. The * little ould man * 
must have been another Jesuit found by Gillam 
at the Ba^r. 

The winter of 1673-74 found Radisson and 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 53 

Groseilliers back in England pressing the 
directors of the Company for better terms. 
The Governing Committee first required oaths 
of fealty. Conferences were multiplied and 
prolonged ; but still Radisson and Groseilliers 
refused to go back to the Bay until something 
was done. On June 29, 1674, the Governing 
Committee unanimously voted that ' there be 
allowed to Mr Radisson ^^loo per annum in 
consideration of services, out of which shall 
be deducted what hath already been paid him ; 
and if it pleases God to bless the Company 
with good success, hereafter that they come to 
be in a prosperous condition, then they will 
reassume consideration.' * Prosperous con- 
dition ! ' At this time the shareholders were 
receiving dividends of fifty and one hundred 
per cent. 

Now, in Radisson's pockets were offers from 
Colbert, the great minister at the French court, 
for service in the French Navy at three times 
this salary. Abruptly, in the fall of 1674, the 
two Frenchmen left London and took service 
under Colbert. But now another difficulty 
blocked Radisson's advance. Colbert insisted 
that Radisson's wife should come to France 
to live. He thought that as long as Madame 
Radisson remained in England her husband's 



54 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

loyalty could not be trusted. Besides, her 
father, Sir John Kirke, was a claimant against 
France for ;^40,ooo damages arising out of the 
capture of Quebec in 1629 by his relatives and 
its restoration to France in 1632 without 
recognition of the family's rights. If Sir 
John's daughter was residing in Paris as the 
wife of a French naval officer, the minister 
saw that this dispute might be more easily 
adjusted; and so he declined to promote the 
two Frenchmen until Madame Radisson came 
to France. 

In 1679, during shore leave from the navy, 
Radisson met one of his old cronies of Quebec — 
Aubert de la Chesnaye, a fur trader. * He 
proposed to me,' Radisson says, * to undertake 
to establish the beaver trade in the great Bay 
where I had been some years before on account 
of the English.' It may be supposed that naval 
discipline ill-suited these wild wood-wanderers, 
and after this it is not surprising that we find 
Radisson and Groseilliers again in New France 
at a conference of fur traders and explorers, 
among whom were La Salle, Jolliet, Charles Le 
Moyne, the soldier with the famous sons, and 
La Chesnaye. No doubt Radisson told those 
couriers of the wilderness tales of profit on 
the sea in the north that brought great curses 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 55 

down on the authorities of New France who 
forbade the people of the colony free access 
to that rich fur field. La Chesnaye had in- 
troduced the brothers-in-law to Frontenac, the 
governor of New France, and had laid before 
him their plans for a trading company to 
operate on the great bay ; but Frontenac 
* did not approve the business.* He could not 
give a commission to invade the territory of a 
friendly power ; still, if La Chesnaye and his 
associates chose to assume risks, he could wink 
at an invasion of rival traders* domains. A 
bargain was made. La Chesnaye would find 
the capital and equip two ships, and Radisson 
and Groseilliers would make the voyage. 
The brothers-in-law would sail at once for 
Acadia, there to spend the winter, and in the 
spring they would come with the fishing fleets 
to Isle Perce, where La Chesnaye would send 
their ships. 

During the winter of 1681-82 La Chesnaye 
persuaded some of his friends to advance 
money for provisions and ships to go to the 
North Sea. Among these friends were Jean 
Chouart, Groseilliers' son, and a Dame Sorrel, 
who, like the English Lady Drax, was prepared 
to give solid support to a venture that promised 
profit. Thus was begun the Company of the 



56 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

North ^ {la Compagnie du Nord) that was to 
be a thorn in the side of the ' Adventurers 
of England ' for over thirty years. Frontenac 
granted permission for two unseaworthy vessels, 
the St Anne and the St Pierre, to fish off Isle 
Perce. Strange bait for cod lay in the 
lockers. 

With profound disappointment Radisson and 
Groseilliers saw at Isle Perce in July the boats 
which they were to have. The St Pierre, 
outfitted for Radisson, was a craft of only 
fifty tons and boasted a crew of only twelve 
men. Groseilliers' vessel, the St Anne, which 
carried his son, Jean Chouart, was still smaller 
and had fifteen men. Both crews consisted 
of freshwater sailors who tossed with woe and 
threatened mutiny when the boats rolled past 
the tidal bore of Belle Isle Strait and began 
threading their way in and out of the * tickles ' 
and fiords of the ribbed, desolate, rocky coast of 
Labrador. Indeed, when the ships stopped to 
take on water at a lonely * hole in the wall ' 
on the Labrador coast, the mutiny would have 
fiamed into open revolt but for the sail of a 

^ While there are earlier records referring' to the Company of the 
North, this year (1682) is generally given as the date of its found- 
ing. Similarly 1670 is taken as the date of the founding of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, although, as we have seen, it was prac- 
tically begun three years earlier. 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 57 

pirate ship that appeared on the horizon. 
Thereupon Radisson's ships crowded sail to 
the wind and sped on up the coast. What 
pirate ship this was may be guessed from what 
happened three weeks later. 

Early in September the two vessels reached 
the Hayes river, which Radisson had named 
twelve years before and where he had set up 
the arms of the English king. Advancing 
fifteen miles up-stream, they chose a winter 
harbour. Leaving Groseilliers to beach the 
boats and erect cabins, Radisson and young 
Jean Chouart canoed farther up to the rendez- 
vous of the Cree and Assiniboine Indians. The 
Indians were overjoyed to meet their trader 
friend of long past years. The white man's 
coming meant firearms, and firearms ensured 
invincible might over all foes. * Ho, young 
men, be not afraid. The Sun is favourable to 
us. Our enemies shall fear us. This is the 
man we have wished for since the days of our 
fathers,' shouted the chief of the Assiniboines 
as he danced and tossed arrows of thanks to 
the gods. 

When the voyageurs glided back down- 
stream on the glassy current, other sounds than 
those of Indian chants greeted them. The 
Hayes river, as we have seen, is divided from 



58 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

the Nelson on the north by a swampy stretch 
of brushwood. Across the swamp boomed 
and rolled to their astonished ears the rever- 
beration of cannon. Was it the pirate ship 
seen off Labrador ? or was it the coming of 
the English Company's traders ? Radisson's 
canoe slipped past the crude fort that Groseil- 
liers had erected and entered the open Bay. 
Nothing was visible but the yellow sea, chopped 
to white caps by the autumn wind. When he 
returned to the fort he learned that cannon- 
ading had been heard from farther inland. 
Evidently the ships had sailed up the Nelson 
river. Now, across the marsh between the 
two rivers lay a creek by which Indian canoes 
from time immemorial had crossed. Taking 
a canoe and three of his best men, Radisson 
paddled and portaged over this route to the 
Nelson. There, on what is now known as Seal 
or Gillam Island, stood a crude new fort ; and 
anchored by the island lay a stout ship — the 
Bachelor'' s Delight — cannons pointing from 
every porthole. Was it the pirate ship seen 
off Labrador ? It took very little parley- 
ing to ascertain that the ship was a poacher, 
commanded by young Ben Gillam of Boston, 
son of the Company's captain, come here on 
illicit trade, with John Outlaw and Mike 




Oi. M 



< - 



t/3 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 59 

Grimmington, who later became famed sea- 
men, as first and second mates. Radisson 
took fate by the beard, introduced himself to 
young Gillam, went on board the ship — not, 
however, without first seeing that two New 
Englanders remained as hostages with his 
three Frenchmen — quaffed drinks, observed 
that the ship was stout and well manned, 
advised Ben not to risk his men too far from 
the fort among the Indians, and laughed with 
joyous contempt when Ben fired cannon by 
way of testing the Frenchman's courage. 

There was enough to try Radisson's courage 
the very next day. While gliding leisurely 
down the current of the Nelson, he saw at a 
bend in the river the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany's ship Prince Rupert, commanded by 
his quondam enemy. Captain Gillam, sailing 
straight for the rendezvous already occupied 
by Ben Gillam. At any cost the two English 
ships must be kept apart ; and at once I 
Singly, perhaps they could be mastered by the 
French. Together, they would surely over- 
power Radisson. It was nightfall. Landing 
and concealing his comrades, Radisson kindled 
such a bonfire as Indians used to signal trade. 
The ship imm.ediately anchored. There was 
a comical meeting on the Pri7ice Rupert the 



6o THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

next morning, at which Radisson represented 
to the new governor, John Bridgar, who was 
on the ship with Gillam, that each of his three 
paddlers was a captain of large ambushed 
forces. Charity will, perhaps, excuse Radisson 
for his fabulous tales of a powerful French 
fort on the Nelson and his disinterested observa- 
tion that this river had a dangerous current 
higher up. It appears that Radisson succeeded 
completely in deceiving the Englishmen. Had 
they known how helpless he was, with only a 
few rude * shacks * on the Hayes river garri- 
soned by twenty or thirty mutinous sailors, 
surely they would have clapped him under 
hatches. But he was permitted to leave the 
ship, and Bridgar began the preparation of his 
winter quarters on the shore. 

Some days later Radisson came back. His 
old enemy Gillam was suspicious and ordered 
him away ; but Radisson came again, and this 
time he brought with him the captain's son, 
young Ben, dressed as a wood-runner. This 
was enough to intimidate the old captain, for he 
knew that if his son was caught poaching on 
the Bay both father and son would be ruined. 
One day two of Bridgar's men who had been 
ranging for game dashed in with the news that 
they had seen a strange fort up the Nelson a 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 6i 

few miles away. This, of course, Bridgar 
thought, was Radisson's fort, and Captain 
Gillam did not dare to undeceive him. Then 
a calamity befell the English winterers. A 
storm rose and set the tidal ice driving against 
the Prince Rupert. The ship was jammed 
and sunk with loss of provisions and fourteen 
men, including the captain himself. So 
perished Captain Zachariah Gillam, whom we 
first met as master of the Nonsitch, the 
pioneer of all the ships that have since sailed 
into the Bay in the service of the Hudson's 
Bay Company. 

The wreck of the ship left Bridgar helpless 
in his rude fort without either food or ammuni- 
tion, and he at once began to console himself 
for loss of ship and provisions by deep drink- 
ing. Then Radisson knew that he had nothing 
further to fear from that quarter and he sent 
food to the starving Englishmen. 

Ben Gillam was outwitted through defiantly 
accepting an invitation to visit the French fort. 
Gillam visited his rivals to spy on their weak- 
ness, and openly taunted them at the banquet 
table about their helpless condition. When he 
tried to depart he was coolly told that he was a 
prisoner, and that, with the aid of any nine 
Frenchmen Ben chose to pick out from ' the 



62 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

helpless French/ Radisson purposed capturing 
the poacher's fort and ship. The young captain 
had fallen into a trap. Radisson had left French 
hostages at Gillam's fort for his safe return, but 
these had been instructed to place firearms at 
convenient places and to post themselves so 
that they could prevent the sudden closing 
of the gates. Such precautions proved un- 
necessary. Radisson walked into the New Eng- 
land poacher's fort and quietly took possession. 

A few days later Bridgar, who had learned 
too late that the fort on the Nelson was not 
French but English, marched his men up- 
stream to contrive a junction with young 
Gillam's forces. When the Hudson's Bay 
men knocked on the gate of the New Englanders* 
fort for admission, the sentinel opened without 
question. The gates clapped shut with a 
slamming of bolts, and the Englishmen found 
themselves quietly and bloodlessly captured 
by the intrepid Radisson. 

Meanwhile Groseilliers and his son, Jean 
Chouart, had been plying a thriving trade. To 
be sure, the ice jam of spring in the Hayes river 
had made Radisson's two cockle-shell craft 
look more like staved-in barrels than merchant 
ships. But in the spring, when the Assiniboines 
and Crees came riding down the river flood in 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 63 

vast brigades of birch canoes laden to the water- 
line with peltry, the Frenchmen had in store 
goods to barter with them and carried on a 
profitable trade. 

Radisson now had more prisoners than he 
could conveniently carry to Quebec. Rigging 
up the remnants of his rickety ships for a 
convoy, he placed in them the majority of the 
Hudson's Bay Company and New England 
crews and sent them south to Rupert and 
Moose. Taking possession of Ben Gillam's ship, 
the Bachelor^s Delight, he loaded it with a 
cargo of precious furs, and set out for Quebec 
with Bridgar and young Gillam as prisoners. 
Jean Chouart and a dozen Frenchmen re- 
mained on the Hayes river to trade. Twenty 
miles out from port, Bridgar and young Gillam 
were caught conspiring to cut the throats of the 
Frenchmen, and henceforth both Englishmen 
were kept under lock and key in their cabins. 

But once again Radisson had to encounter the 
governing bodies of Quebec. The authorities 
of New France were enraged when they 
learned that La Chesnaye had sent an ex- 
pedition to the North Sea. In the meantime 
Frontenac had been replaced by another 
governor, La Barre. Tax collectors beset the 
ships like rats long before Quebec was sighted. 



64 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

and practically confiscated the cargo in fines 
and charges. La Barre no doubt supposed 
that the treaty of peace existing between 
England and France gave him an excuse for 
seizing the cargo of furs. At all events he 
ordered Radisson and Groseilliers to report at 
once to Colbert in France. He restored the 
Bachelor^s Delight forthwith to Ben Gillam 
and gave him full clearance papers. He re- 
leased Bridgar, the Company's trader. His 
stroke of statesmanship left the two French 
explorers literally beggared, and when they 
reached Paris in January 1684 Colbert was 
dead. 

But, though Ben Gillam secured his release 
from the governor of New France, he did not 
escape the long hand of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, who had written from London to 
Mr Randolph of the American Plantations to 
effect the arrest of Ben Gillam at any cost. 
At the same time they sent Randolph b, £10 
present of silver plate. On reaching Boston, 
Ben Gillam was duly arrested. He afterwards 
became a pirate, and his ultimate fate was in- 
volved with that of the famous Captain Kidd. 
Both were sent to England to be tried for crimes 
on the high seas ; and it is supposed that, 
like Kidd, Ben suffered execution. Bridgar, 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 65 

suddenly freed from all danger, as suddenly 
regained a sense of his own importance. He 
made drafts on the Company and set out from 
Quebec in such state as befitted his dignity, 
with secretary and interpreter and valet. He 
rode hurriedly along the old post-road between 
Boston and New York, filling the countryside 
with the story of his adventures Then he 
took ship to England ; but there his valour 
suffered a sudden chill. The Company had 
refused to honour his bills. They repudiated 
his drafts, reprimanded him severely, and 
suspended him from service for several years. 
Mike Grimmington and Outlaw and the others, 
who had been shipped down from Nelson to 
Moose and Rupert, promptly took passage 
home to England on the Company's yearly 
ship. By the time Radisson and Groseilliers 
reached Paris, Europe was ringing with the 
outrage involved in their exploits. 

Radisson found small comfort in Paris. 
Possibly Colbert's death had deprived him of a 
sympathetic protector, and the French court 
was as reluctant now to interfere with the 
actions of the colonial authorities at Quebec 
as it had been twenty years before. After 
petitioning vainly for consideration, Groseilliers 
seems to have given up the contest and retired 

A.H.B. E 



66 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

for the remainder of his life to a small patri- 
mony near Three Rivers. Not so Radisson ! 
He was bound to the Old World by marriage ; 
and now international complications came to 
bind him yet more completely. ' It is im- 
possible,' wrote Louis XIV to Governor La 
Barre, * to imagine what you mean by re- 
leasing Gillam's boat and relinquishing claim 
to the North Sea.' At the same time Louis 
was in a quandary. He would not relinquish 
the French claim to the North Sea ; but he 
dared not risk a rupture of his secret 
treaty with England by openly countenancing 
Radisson's exploit on the Nelson river. Radisson 
was secretly ordered to go back to the Bay 
and, unofficially, in his private capacity, 
restore the Nelson river fur posts to the 
Hudson's Bay Company. The words of the 
order in part are : ' To put an end to the 
differences between the two Nations touching 
the settlements made by Messrs Groseilliers 
and Radisson on Hudson's Bay, the said 
Groseilliers and Radisson shall return and 
withdraw the French with all effects belonging 
to them and shall restore to the English Com- 
pany the Habitation by them settled to be 
enjoyed by the English without molestation.' 
At the very same time that these royal 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 67 

orders sent Radisson to restore the forts, 
a privateering frigate was dispatched from 
France to Quebec with equally secret orders 
to attack and sink English vessels on the Bay. 
The * Adventurers of England,' too, were in- 
volved in a game of international duplicity. 
While Mr Young, the fashionable man about 
town, wrote letters imploring Radisson to 
come back to England, Sir James Hayes bom- 
barded the French court with demands that 
the Frenchman be punished. ' I am con- 
firmed,' he wrote, ' in our worst fears. M. 
Radisson, who was at the head of the action 
at Port Nelson, is arrived in France the 8th of 
this month and is in all post haste to under- 
mine us on the Bay. Nothing can mend but 
to cause ye French King to have exemplary 
justice done on ye said Radisson.' 

On May 10, 1684, Radisson arrived in 
London. He was met by Mr Young and Sir 
James Hayes and welcomed and forthwith 
carried to Windsor, where he took the oath of 
fidelity as a British subject. The Company, 
sunk a month before in the depths of despair, 
were transported with joy and generous |re- 
joicings, and the Governing Committee voted 
Mr Young thanks for bringing Mr Radisson 
from France. Two days after Radisson's 



68 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

arrival, Sir James Hayes and Mr Young re- 
ported to the Company that Mr Radisson had 
tendered his services to the Company, that 
they * have presented him to our Governor, 
His Royal Highness, who was pleased to advise 
he should again be received in service, under 
wage of £50 per annum and benefit of dividends 
on ;^200 capital stock during life, to receive 
£25 to set him out for this present expedition.' 
On May 21 Sir James Hayes reported that he 
had presented Mr Radisson with * a silver 
tankard, charged to the Company at ;^io 14. 0.' 

Radisson returned to the Bay on the Happy 
Return, sailed by Captain Bond. On the 
same ship went the new governor, William 
Phipps, who had been appointed to succeed 
Bridgar, and a boy named Henry Kelsey, of 
whom we shall hear more later. Outlaw, 
who had been with Ben Gillam, had a com- 
mission for the Company and sailed the 
Success. His mate was Mike Grimmington, 
also of the old poacher crew. There was a 
sloop, too, the Adventure — Captain Geyer — for 
inland waters. 

When Radisson arrived at the Hayes river and 
told Jean Chouart — ^who, as we have seen, had 
been left in charge of the French trade there — 
of the looting of the fur cargoes at Quebec 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 69 

and of the order from the French king to 
transfer everything to the English, the young 
Frenchman's rage may be imagined. He had 
risked his entire fortune on the expedition from 
Quebec ; but what account did this back-stairs 
trick of courtiers take of his ruin ? Radisson 
told him that he had been commissioned to 
offer him ;^ioo a year for service under the 
English, and ^^50 each to his underling traders. 
Jean listened in sullen silence. The furs 
gathered by the Frenchmen were transferred 
to the holds of the English vessels, but Jean 
and his companions evinced no eagerness 
to go aboard for England. On September 4, 
just as the sailors were heaving up anchors 
to the sing-song of a running chant, Phipps, 
the governor, summoned the French to a 
final council on board the Ha'ppy Return, 
Young Jean looked out through the ports 
of the captain's cabin. The sea was slipping 
past. The Happy Return had set sail. The 
Frenchmen were trapped and were being 
carried to England. In an instant, hands 
were on swords and the ship was in an uproar. 
Radisson besought his countrymen to bethink 
themselves before striking. What could five 
men do against an armed English crew ? 
Once in England, they could listen to what 



70 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

the Company had to offer ; meanwhile they 
were suffering no harm. The Frenchmen 
sullenly put back their swords. The boat 
reached Portsmouth in the last week of 
October. Radisson took horse and rode furi- 
ously for London. 

If the adventurers had been exultant over 
his return from France, they were doubly 
jubilant at his victorious return from the Bay. 
He was publicly thanked, presented with a 
hundred guineas, and became the lion of the 
hour. The Governing Committee on November 
14, 1684, three weeks after Radisson's return, 
voted that he had ' done extraordinary service 
to the great liking and satisfaction of the 
Company . . . the committee are resolved to 
bestow some mark of respect to the son of 
Mr Groseilliers and order 20s. a week paid him 
beginning October 30.' A present of seven 
musquash skins was now given Mr Young for 
having induced Radisson to resume his services. 

Radisson was requested to make terms with 
the young Frenchman, but this was not such an 
easy matter. Some one suggested that Jean 
Chouart should follow the example of his uncle 
and marry an English wife. Jean shrugged 
his shoulders. In a letter to his mother at 
Three Rivers he wrote : ' I am offered pro- 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH ON THE BAY 71 

posals of marriage to which I will not listen. 
I would leave, but they hold back my pay, and 
orders have been given to arrest me in case I 
try. Cause it to be well known that I never 
intended to follow the English. I have been 
forced to this by my uncle's subterfuge. Assure 
M. Du Lhut of my humble services. I will 
have the honour of seeing him as soon as I can. 
Tell the same to M. Pere and all our good 
friends.' To M. Comporte he writes : * I will 
be at the place you desire me to go, or perish.' 
As M. Du Lhut had been dispatched by the 
Company of the North with the knowledge of 
the governor of Quebec to intercept Indians 
going down to the English on Hudson Bay, 
and M. Pere and M. Comporte were suave 
diplomats and spies in his service, it may be 
guessed that the French passed secret messages 
into the hands of young Jean Chouart in 
London, and that he passed messages back to 
them. At all events, from being doggedly 
resistant to all overtures, he suddenly became 
complaisant in March of 1685, and took out 
papers of * deninization,' or naturalization, 
in preference to the oath of fidelity, and en- 
gaged with the English Company at :^ioo a 
year. He was given another 3^100 to fit him 
out, and his four comrades were engaged at 



72 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

from £4$ to ;g8o a year. How could the 
gentlemen of the Company guess that young 
Jean was betraying them to the Company of 
the North in Canada, where a mine was being 
laid to blow up their prosperity ? 

The Hudson's Bay Company declared divi- 
dends of fifty per cent, and chartered seven 
vessels for the season of 1685 — some from a 
goldsmith, Sir Stephen Evance ; and bespoke 
my Lord Churchill as next governor in place of 
James, Duke of York, who had become King 
James II. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE GREAT OVERLAND RAID 

The Company now had permanent forts at 
Rupert, Albany, and Moose rivers on James 
Bay, and at the mouth of the Hayes river on 
the west coast. The very year that Churchill 
was appointed governor and took his place at 
the board of the Governing Committee, a small 
sloop had sailed as far north as Churchill, 
or the River of the Strangers, to reconnoitre 
and fix a site for a post. The fleet of trading 
vessels had increased even faster than the 
forts. Seven ships — four frigates and three 
sloops — were dispatched for the Bay in 1685. 
Radisson, young Jean, and the four French- 
men went on the Happy Return with Captain 
Bond bound for Nelson. Richard Lucas 
commanded the Owner^s Good Will, Captain 
Outlaw, with Mike Grimmington as mate, took 
the big ship Success, destined for AlbcUiy. 
Captain Hume, with Smithsend for mate, took 
his cargo boat, the Merchant Perpetuana. 

78 



74 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

The Company did not own any of these 
vessels. They were chartered from Sir Stephen 
Evance and others, for sums running from 
£400 to £600 for the voyage, with ;£ioo extra 
for the impress money. The large vessels 
carried crews of twenty men ; the smaller, of 
twelve ; and each craft boasted at least six 
great guns. In March, after violent debate 
over old Bridgar's case, the Committee rein- 
stated him at ;^ioo a year as governor at 
Rupert. Phipps went as governor to Port 
Nelson. One Nixon was already stationed at 
Moose. Bluff old Henry Sargeant, as true a 
Viking as ever rode the north seas, had been at 
Albany for a year with his family — the first 
white family known to have resided on the Bay. 
Radisson had been reappointed superintendent 
of trade over the entire Bay ; and he recom- 
mended for this year 20,500 extra flints, 500 
extra ice-chisels for trapping beaver above 
the waterfalls, and several thousand extra 
yards of tobacco — thereby showing the judg- 
ment of an experienced trader. This spring 
the curious oaths of secrecy, already mentioned, 
were administered to all servants. It may 
be inferred that the Happy Return and the 
Perpetuana were the heaviest laden, for they 
fell behind the rest of the fleet on the way 



THE GREAT OVERLAND RAID 75 

out, and were embayed, along with Outlaw's 
Success, in the icefields off Digges Island 
in July. It was the realm of almost con- 
tinuous light in summer ; but there must have 
been fogs or thick weather, for candles were 
lighted in the binnacles and cabins, and the 
gloom outside was so heavy that it was im- 
possible to see ten feet away from the decks 
in the woolly night mist. 

Meanwhile the governor at Albany, Henry 
Sargeant, awaited the coming of the yearly 
ships. It may be guessed that he waited 
chuckling. He and Nixon, who seem to have 
been the only governors resident on the Bay 
that summer, must have felt great satisfaction. 
They had out-tricked the French interlopers. 
One La Martiniere of the Company of the 
North had sailed into the Bay with two ships 
laden with cargo from Quebec for the fur trade ; 
and the two Hudson's Bay traders had manipu- 
lated matters so craftily that not an Indian 
could the French find. Not a pelt did La 
Martiniere obtain. The French captain then 
inquired very particularly for his compatriot — 
M. Radisson. M. Radisson was safe in 
England. One can see old Sargeant's eyes 
twinkle beneath his shaggy brows. La Mar- 
tiniere swears softly ; a price is on M. 



76 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

Radisson's head. The French king had sent 
orders to M. de Denonville, the governor of 
New France, to arrest Radisson and * to pay 
fifty pistoles * to any one who seized him. 
Has His Excellency, M. Sargeant, seen one 
Jean Pere, or one M. Comporte ? No, M. Sar- 
geant has seen neither ' Parry ' — as his report 
has it — nor * a Comporte.' 

La Martiniere sailed away, and old Sargeant 
sent his sentinel to the crow's nest — a sort of 
loft or lighthouse built on a high hill behind 
the fort — to hoist the signals for incoming 
boats and to run up the flag. He had dis- 
patched Sandford or ' Red Cap,* one of his 
men, a little way up the Albany to bring him 
word of the coming of the Indian canoes ; but 
this was not Sandford coming back, and these 
were not Indian canoes coming down the Albany 
river from the Up -Country. This was the 
long slow dip of white voyageurs, not the 
quick choppy stroke of the Indian ; and before 
Sargeant could rub the amazement out of his 
eyes, three white men, with a blanket for sail, 
came swirling down the current, beached their 
canoe, and, doffing caps in a debonair manner, 
presented themselves before the Hudson's Bay 
man dourly sitting on a cannon in the gate- 
way. The nonchalant gentleman who intro- 



THE GREAT OVERLAND RAID 77 

duced the others was Jean Pere, dressed as a 
wood-runner, voyaging and hunting in this 
back-of-beyond for pleasure. A long way to 
come for pleasure, thought Sargeant — all the 
leagues and leagues from French camps on 
Lake Superior. But England and France were 
at peace. The gentlemen bore passports. 
They were welcomed to a fort breakfast and 
passed pretty compliments to Madame Sargeant, 
and asked blandly after M. Radisson's health, 
and had the honour to express their most 
affectionate regard for friend Jean Chouart. 
Now where might Jean Chouart be ? Sargeant 
did not satisfy their curiosity, nor did he urge 
them to stay overnight. They sailed gaily 
on down-stream to hunt in the cedar swamps 
south of Albany. That night while they slept 
the tide carried off their canoe. Back they 
had to come to the fort. But meanwhile some 
one else had arrived there. With a fluttering 
of the ensign above the mainmast and a 
clatter as the big sails came flopping down. 
Captain Outlaw had come to anchor on the 
Success ; and the tale that he told — one can 
see the anger mount to old Sargeant's eyes 
and the fear to Jean Pere's — was that the 
Merchant Perpetuana, off Digges Island, had 
been boarded and scuttled in the midnight 



78 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

gloom of July 27 by two French ships. Hume 
and Smithsend had been overpowered, fettered, 
and carried off prisoners to Quebec. Mike 
Grimmington too, who seems to have been on 
Hume's ship, was a prisoner. Fourteen of the 
crew had been bayoneted to death and thrown 
overboard. Outlaw did not know the later 
details of the raid — how Hume was to be sent 
home to France for ransom, and Mike Grim- 
mington was to be tortured to betray the secret 
signals of the Bay, and Smithsend and the 
other English seamen to be sold into slavery 
in Martinique. Ultimately, all three were 
ransomed or escaped back to England ; but 
they heard strange threats of raid and over- 
land foray as they lay imprisoned beneath the 
Chateau St Louis in Quebec. Fortunately 
Radisson and the five Frenchmen, being on 
board the Happy Return, had succeeded in 
escaping from the ice jam and were safe in 
Nelson. 

What Jean Pere remarked on hearing this 
recital is not known — possibly something not 
very complimentary about the plans of the 
French raiders going awry ; but the next 
thing is that Mr Jan Parry — as Sargeant per- 
sists in describing him — finds himself in * the 
butter vat ' or prison of Albany with fetters on 



THE GREAT OVERLAND RAID 79 

his feet and handcuffs on his wrists. On 
October 29 he is sent prisoner to England on 
the home-bound ships of Bond and Lucas. 
His two companion spies are marooned for 
the winter on Charlton Island. As well try, 
however, to maroon a bird on the wing as a 
French wood-runner. The men fished and 
snared game so diligently that by September 
they had full store of provisions for escape. 
Then they made themselves a raft or canoe 
and crossed to the mainland. By Christmas 
they had reached the French camps of Michili- 
mackinac. In another month they were in 
Quebec with wild tales of Pere, held prisoner in 
the dungeons of Albany. France and England 
were at peace ; but the Chevalier de Troyes, 
a French army officer, and the brothers Le 
Moyne, dare-devil young adventurers of New 
France, asked permission of the governor of 
Quebec to lead a band of wood-runners over- 
land to rescue Pere on the Bay, fire the English 
forts, and massacre the English. Rumours of 
these raids Smithsend heard in his dungeon 
below Chateau St Louis ; and he contrived to 
send a secret letter to England, warning the 
Company. 

In England the adventurers had lodged 
* Parry ' in jail on a charge of having ' damni- 



So THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

fied the Company.' Smithsend's letter of 
warning had come ; but how could the Com- 
pany reach their forts before the ice cleared ? 
Meanwhile they hired twenty extra men for 
each fort. They presented Radisson with a 
hogshead of claret. At the same time they 
had him and his wife, * dwelling at the end of 
Seething Lane on Tower Hill,' sign a bond for 
3^2000 by way of ensuring fidelity. * Ye two 
journals of Mr Radisson 's last expedition to 
ye Bay * were delivered into the hands of the 
Company, where they have rested to this day. 
The ransom demanded for Hume was paid 
by the Company at secret sessions of the 
Governing Committee, and the captain came 
post-haste from France with word of La 
Martiniere's raid. My Lord Churchill being 
England's champion against * those varmint ' 
the French, * My Lord Churchill was presented 
with a catt skin counter pane for his bedd ' and 
was asked to bespeak the favour of the king 
that France should make restitution. My 
Lord Churchill brought back word that the king 
said : * Gentlemen, I understand your business ! 
On my honour, I assure you I will take par- 
ticular care on it to see that you are righted.* 
In all, eighty-nine men were on the Bay at this 
time. It proved not easy to charter ships that 



THE GREAT OVERLAND RAID 8i 

year. Sir Stephen Evance advanced his price 
on the Happy Return from ;^400 to ;^750. 
Knight, of whom we shall hear anon, and Red 
Cap Sandford, of whom the minutes do not 
tell enough to inform us whether the name 
refers to his hair or his hat, urged the Govern- 
ing Committee to send at least eighteen more 
men to Albany, twelve more to Moose, six 
more to Rupert, and to open a trading post at 
Severn between Nelson and Albany. They 
advised against attempting to go up the rivers 
while French interlopers were active. Radisson 
bought nine hundred muskets for Nelson, and 
ordered two great guns to be mounted on the 
walls. When Smithsend arrived from im- 
prisonment in Quebec, war fever against the 
French rose to white-heat. 

But, while all this preparation was in course 
at home, sixty-six swarthy Indians and thirty- 
three French wood-runners, led by the Che- 
valier de Troyes, the Le Moyne brothers, and 
La Chesnaye, the fur trader, were threading 
the deeply-forested, wild hinterland between 
Quebec and Hudson Bay. On June i8, 1686, 
Moose Fort had shut all its gates ; but the sleepy 
sentry, lying in his blanket across the entrance, 
had not troubled to load the cannon. He slept 
heavily outside the high palisade made of 



82 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

pickets eighteen feet long, secure in the thought 
that twelve soldiers lay in one of the corner 
bastions and that three thousand pounds of 
powder were stored in another. With all lights 
out and seemingly in absolute security, the 
chief factor's store and house, built of white- 
washed stone, stood in the centre of the inner 
courtyard. 

Two white men dressed as Indians — the 
young Le Moyne brothers, not yet twenty- 
six years of age — slipped noiselessly from the 
woods behind the fort, careful not to crunch 
their moccasins on dead branches, took a 
look at the sleeping sentry and the plugged 
mouths of the unloaded cannon, and as 
noiselessly slipped back to their comrades in 
hiding. Each man was armed with musket, 
sword, dagger, and pistol. He carried no haver- 
sack, but a single blanket rolled on his back 
with dried meat and biscuit enclosed. The 
raiders slipped off their blankets and coats, 
and knelt and prayed for blessing on their 
raid. 

The next time the Le Moynes came back to 
the sentinel sleeping heavily at the fort gate, 
one quick, sure sabre-stroke cleft the sluggard's 
head to the collar-bone. A moment later the 
whole hundred raiders were sweeping over the 



THE GREAT OVERLAND RAID 83 

walls. A gunner sprang up with a shout from 
his sleep. A single blow on the head, and 
one of the Le Moynes had put the fellow to 
sleep for ever. In less than five minutes the 
French were masters of Moose Fort at a cost 
of only two lives, with booty of twelve cannon 
and three thousand pounds of powder and with 
a dozen prisoners. 

While the old Chevalier de Troyes paused 
to rig up a sailing sloop for the voyage across 
the bottom of James Bay to the Rupert river, 
Pierre Le Moyne — known in history as d' Iber- 
ville — with eight men, set out in canoes on 
June 27 for the Hudson's Bay fort on the south- 
east corner of the inland sea. Crossing the 
first gulf or Hannah Bay, he portaged with his 
men across the swampy flats into Rupert Bay, 
thus saving a day's detour, and came on poor 
old Bridgar's sloop near the fort at Rupert, 
sails reefed, anchor out, rocking gently to the 
night tide. D'Iberville was up the hull and 
over the deck with the quiet stealth and quick- 
ness of a cat. One sword-blow severed the 
sleeping sentinel's head from his body. Then, 
with a stamp of his moccasined feet and a 
ramp of the butt of his musket, d' Iberville 
awakened the sleeping crew below decks. By 
way of putting the fear of God and of France 



84 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

into English hearts, he sabred the first three 
sailors who came floundering up the hatches. 
Poor old Bridgar came up in his nightshirt, 
hardly awake, both hands up in surrender — 
his second surrender in four years. To wake 
up to bloody decks, with the heads of dead men 
rolling to the scuppers, was enough to excuse 
any man's surrender. 

The noise on the ship had forewarned the 
fort, and the French had to gain entrance 
thereto by ladders. With these they ascended 
to the roofs of the houses and hurled down 
bombs — hand-grenades — through the chimneys, 
* with,' says the historian of the occasion, * an 
effect most admirable.' Most admirable, in- 
deed ! for an Englishwoman, hiding in a room 
closet, fell screaming with a broken hip. The 
fort surrendered, and the French were masters 
of Rupert with thirty prisoners and a ship to 
the good. What all this had to do with the 
rescue of Jean Pere would puzzle any one but 
a raiding fur trader. 

With prisoners, ship, cannon, and ammuni- 
tion, but with few provisions for food, the 
French now set sail westward across the Bay 
for Albany, La Chesnaye no doubt bearing in 
mind that a large quantity of beaver stored 
there would compensate him for his losses at 



THE GREAT OVERLAND RAID 85 

Nelson two years before when the furs collected 
by Jean Chouart on behalf of the Company of 
the North had been seized by the English. 
The wind proved perverse. Icefloes, driving 
towards the south end of the Bay, delayed the 
sloops. Again Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville 
could not constrain patience to await the favour 
of wind and weather. With crews of voyageurs 
he pushed off from the ship in two canoes. 
Fog fell. The ice proved brashy, soft to each 
step, and the men slithered through the water 
up to the armpits as they carried the canoes. 
D'Iberville could keep his men together only 
by firing guns through the fog and holding 
hands in a chain as the two crews portaged 
across the soft ice. 

By August I the French voyageurs were in 
camp before Albany, and a few days later de 
Troyes arrived with the prisoners and the big 
sloop. Before Albany, Captain Outlaw's ship, 
the Success, stood anchored; but the ship 
seemed deserted, and the fort was fast sealed, 
like an oyster in a shell. Indians had evidently 
carried warning of the raid to Sargeant, and 
Captain Outlaw had withdrawn his crew inside 
the fort. The Le Moynes, acting as scouts, 
soon discovered that Albany boasted forty- 
three guns. If Jean Pere were prisoner here 



86 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

in durance vile, his rescue would be a harder 
matter than the capture of Moose or Rupert. 
If the French had but known it, bedlam reigned 
inside the fort. While the English had guns, 
they had very little ammunition. Gunners 
threw down their fuses and refused to stand 
up behind the cannon till old Sargeant drove 
them back with his sword hilt. Men on the 
walls threw down muskets and declared that 
while they had signed to serve, they had not 
signed to fight, * and if any of us lost a leg, 
the Company could not make it good.* The 
Chevalier de Troyes, with banner flying and 
fifes shrilling, marched forward, and under 
flag of truce pompously demanded, in the name 
of the Most Christian Monarch, Louis XIV, 
King of France, the instant release of Monsieur 
Jean Pere. Old Sargeant sent out word that 
Mister Parry had long since sailed for France 
by way of England. This, however, did not 
abate the demands of the Most Christian King 
of France. Bombs began to sing overhead. 
Bridgar came under flag of truce to Sargeant 
and told him the French were desperate. It 
was a matter of life and death. They must 
take the fort to obtain provisions for the return 
to Quebec. If it were surrendered, mercy 
would be exercised. If taken forcibly, no 



THE GREAT OVERLAND RAID 87 

power could restrain the Indians from 
massacre. Sargeant, as has been explained 
before, had his family in the fort. Just at 
this moment one of the gunners committed 
suicide from sheer terror, and Captain Outlaw 
came from the powder magazine with the re- 
port that there was not another ball to fire. 
Before Sargeant could prevent it, an underling 
had waved a white sheet from one of the upper 
windows in surrender. The old trader took 
two bottles of port, opened the fort gates, 
walked out and sat down on a French cannon 
while he parleyed with de Troyes for the best 
terms obtainable. The English officers and 
their families were allowed to retire on one of 
the small ships to Charlton Island to await the 
coming of the Company's yearly boats. When 
the hungry French rushed into the fort, they 
found small store of food, but an enormous 
loot of furs. The season was advancing. The 
Chevalier de Troyes bade his men disband and 
find their way as best they could to Quebec. 
Only enough English prisoners were retained 
to carry the loot of furs back overland. The 
rest were turned adrift in the woods. Of fifty 
prisoners, only twenty survived the winter of 
1686-87. Some perished while trying to tramp 
northward to Nelson, and some died in the 



88 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

woods, after a vain endeavour to save their 
miserable lives by cannibalism. 

The English flag still flew at Nelson ; but 
the French were masters of every other post 
on the Bay. ^ 



CHAPTER VII 

YEARS OF DISASTER 

In spite of French raid and foray, the Governing 
Committee in London pursued the even tenor 
of its way. Strict measures were enforced to 
stop illicit and clandestine trading on the part 
of the Company's servants. In a minute of 
November 2, 1687, the Committee * taking 
notice that several of the officers and servants 
have brought home in their coats and other 
garments severall pieces of furrs to the great 
prejudice of the Co'y, do order that such as 
have any garments lined with furrs shall forth- 
with bring the same to the warehouse and there 
leave all the same furrs, or in default shall 
forfeit and loose all salary and be liable to 
such prosecution as the Co'y think fitt.* 

Silent anger and resentment grew against 
Radisson ; for was it not he who had revealed 
the secrets of the great Bay to marauding 
Frenchmen ? Sargeant was sued in £20,000 
damages for surrendering Albany ; but, on 



90 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

second thought, the case was settled by 
arbitration, and the doughty old trader was 
awarded ;£35o. Jean Chouart and the other 
Frenchmen came back to London in 1689, 
and Jean was awarded :£202 for all arrears. 
Also, about this time, the Company began trade 
with North Russia in whale blubber, which, 
like the furs, was auctioned by light of candle, 
William of Orange was welcomed to the 
throne, in 1688, with an address from the 
adventurers that would have put Henry VHI's 
parliament to the blush : * that in all yr. 
undertakings Yr. Majesty may bee as vic- 
torious as Caesar, as beloved as Titus, and 
have the glorious long reign and peaceful end 
of His Majesty Augustus.' Three hundred 
guineas were presented along with this address 
in * a faire embroidered purse by the Hon. 
the Deputy Gov'r. upon his humble knees,' 
For pushing claims of damages against France, 
Sir Edward Dering, the deputy-governor, was 
voted two hundred guineas. Stock forfeited 
for breaking oaths of secrecy was voted to a 
fund for the wounded and widows of the 
service. The Company's servants were put 
on the same pensions as soldiers in the national 
service. Henceforth ' one pipe of brandy ' was 
to go on each vessel for use during war ; 



YEARS OF DISASTER 91 

but, in spite of ' pipes of brandy,' the seamen 
were now very mutinous about going aboard, 
and demanded pay in advance, which with 
* faire words doth allay anger.' It was a 
difficult matter now to charter ships. The 
Company had to buy vessels ; and it seems 
there was a scarcity of ready money, for one 
minute records that * the tradesmen are very 
importunate for their bills.* 

Many new shareholders had come into the 
Company, and ' Esquire Young ' had great 
ado to convince them that Radisson had any 
rightful claim on them at all. Radisson, for 
his part, went to law ; and the arrears of 
dividends were ordered to be paid. But when 
the war waxed hotter there were no dividends. 
Then Esquire Young's petitions set forth that 
' M. Radisson is living in a mean and poor 
condition.' When the Frenchman came ask- 
ing for consideration, he was not invited into 
the committee room, but was left cooling his 
heels in the outer hall. But the years rolled 
on, and when, during the negotiation of the 
Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, the Company 
pressed a claim of ;^20o,ooo damages against 
France, ' the Committee considering Mr Peter 
Radisson may be very useful at this time, as 
to affairs between the French and this Co'y, 



92 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

the Sec. is ordered to take coach and fetch him 
to the Committee * ; * on wh. the Committee had 
discourse with him till dinner.' The discourse 
— given in full in the minutes — was the setting 
forth, on affidavit, of that secret royal order 
from the king of France in 1684 to restore the 
forts on the Bay to England. Meanwhile 
amounts of £2^0 were voted widows of captains 
killed in the war ; and the deputy-governor 
went to Hamburg and Amsterdam to borrow 
money ; for the governor, Sir Stephen Evance, 
was wellnigh bankrupt. 

A treaty of neutrality, in 1686, had provided 
that the Bay should be held in common by 
France and England, but the fur traders of 
New France were not content to honour such 
an ambiguous arrangement. D' Iberville came 
overland again to Rupert river in 1687, 
promptly seized the English sloop there, and 
sent four men across to Charlton Island to 
spy on Captain Bond, who was v/intering on 
the ship Churchill. Bond clapped the French 
spies under hatches ; but in the spring one was 
permitted above decks to help the English 
sailors launch the Churchill from her skids. 
The Frenchman waited till six of the English 
were up the masts. Then, seizing an ax, 
he brained two sailors near by, opened the 



YEARS OF DISASTER 93 

hatches, called up his comrades, and, keeping 
the other Englishmen up the mast poles at 
pistol point, steered the vessel across to 
d' Iberville at Rupert. 

The English on their side, like the French, 
were not disposed to remain inert under the 
terms of the treaty. Captain Moon sailed 
down from Nelson, with two strongly-manned 
ships, to attempt the recapture of Albany. 
At the moment when he had loaded a cargo of 
furs from the half-abandoned fort on one of 
his vessels, d' Iberville came paddling across the 
open sea with a force of painted Indian warriors. 
The English dashed for hiding inside the fort, 
and d' Iberville gaily mounted to the decks 
of the fur-laden ship, raised sail, and steered 
off for Quebec. Meeting the incoming fleet 
of English vessels, he threw them off guard 
by hoisting an English flag, and sailed on in 
safety. 

When France and England were again openly 
at war, Le Moyne d' Iberville was occupied 
with raids on New England; and during his 
absence from the Bay, Mike Grimmington, who 
had been promoted to a captaincy, came sailing 
down from Nelson to find Albany in the posses- 
sion of four Frenchmen under Captain Le Meux. 
He sacked the fort, clapped Le Meux and his 



94 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

men in the hold of his English vessel, carried 
them off to England, and presented them be- 
fore the Governing Committee. Captain Mike 
was given a tankard valued at £-^6 for his ser- 
vices. At the same time Captain Edgecombe 
brought home a cargo of 22,000 beavers from 
Nelson, and was rewarded with ;£20 worth of 
silver plate and ;^ioo in cash. Meanwhile our 
friend Jean Pere, who had escaped to France, 
was writing letters to Radisson, trying to tempt 
him to leave England, or perhaps to involve 
him in a parley that would undermine his 
standing with the English. 

Grimmington's successful foray encouraged 
the * Adventurers of England ' to make a 
desperate effort to recapture all the forts on 
the Bay. James Knight, who had started 
as an apprentice under Sargeant, was sent to 
Albany as governor, and three trusted men, 
Walsh, Bailey, and Kelsey, were sent to 
Nelson, whence came the largest cargoes of 
furs. 

But d'Iberville was not the man to let his 
v/innings slip. Once more he turned his 
attention to Hudson Bay, and on September 24, 
1694, the French frigates Poll and Salamander 
were unloading cannon, under his direction, 
beneath the ramparts of Nelson. For three 



YEARS OF DISASTER 95 

weeks, without ceasing day or night, bombs 
were singing over the eighteen-foot palisades 
of the fort. From within Walsh, Kelsey, and 
Bailey made a brave defence. They poured 
scalding water on the heads of the French- 
men and Indians who ventured too near the 
walls. From the sugar-loaf tower roofs of the 
corner bastions their sharpshooters were able 
to pick off the French assailants, while keeping 
in safety themselves. They killed Chateau- 
guay, d' Iberville's brother, as he tried to force 
his way into the fort through a rear wall. But 
the wooden towers could not withstand the 
bombs, and at length both sides were ready to 
parley for terms. With the hope that they 
might save their furs, the English hung out 
a tablecloth as a flag of truce, and the ex- 
hausted fighters seized the opportunity to eat 
and sleep. The weather had turned bitterly 
cold. No ship could come from England till 
spring. Under these conditions, Walsh made 
the best bargain he could. It was agreed that 
the English officers should be lodged in the 
fort and should share the provisions during 
the winter. D' Iberville took possession ; and 
again, only one post on the Bay — Albany, in 
charge of James Knight — remained in English 
hands. 



96 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

On the miseries of the English prisoners 
that winter there is no time to dwell. D' Iber- 
ville had departed, leaving La Forest, one of 
his men, in command. The terms of the sur- 
render were ignored. Only four officers were 
maintained in the fort and given provisions. 
The rest of the English were driven to the 
woods. Those who hung round the fort were 
treated as slaves. Out of the fifty-three only 
twenty-five survived. No English ship came 
to Nelson in the following summer — 1695. 
The ship that anchored there that summer was 
a French privateer, and in her hold some of the 
English survivors were stowed and carried to 
France for ransom. 

In August 1696, however, two English war- 
ships — the Bonaventure and the Seaforth — 
commanded by Captain Allen, anchored before 
Nelson. La Forest capitulated almost on de- 
mand; and, again, the English with Nelson 
in their hands were virtually in possession of 
the Bay. Allen made prisoners of the whole 
garrison and seized twenty thousand beaver 
pelts. While the Bonaventure and the Sea- 
forth lay in front of the fort, two ships of 
France, in command of Serigny, one of d'lber- 
ville's brothers, with provisions for La Forest, 
sailed in, and on sight of the English ships 



YEARS OF DISASTER 97 

sailed out again to the open sea — so hurriedly, 
indeed, that one of the craft struck an ice- 
floe, split, and sank. As Allen's two English 
vessels, on their return journey, passed into the 
straits during a fog, a volley of shot poured 
across the deck and laid the captain dead on 
the spot. The ship whence this volley came 
was not seen ; there is no further record of 
the incident, and we can only surmise that 
the shot came from Serigny's remaining ship. 
What is certain is that Allen was killed and that 
the English ships arrived in England with 
an immense cargo of furs, which went to the 
Company's warehouse, and with French cap- 
tives from Nelson, who were lodged in prison 
at Portsmouth. 

The French prisoners were finally set free 
and made their way to France, where the 
story of their wrongs aroused great indignation. 
D'Iberville, who was now in Newfoundland, 
carrying havoc from hamlet to hamlet, was 
the man best fitted to revenge the outrage. 
Five French warships were made ready — the 
Pelican, the Palmier, the Profond, the Violent, 
and the Wasp, In April 1697 these were 
dispatched from France to Placentia, New- 
foundland, there to be taken in command by 
d'Iberviiie, with orders to proceed to Hudson 

A.H.B. a 



98 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

Bay and leave not a vestige remaining of the 
English fur trade in the North. 

Meanwhile preparations were being made 
in England to dispatch a mighty fleet to drive 
the French for ever from the Bay. Three 
frigates were bought and fitted out — the Dering, 
Captain Grimmington ; the Hudson's Bay^ 
Captain Smithsend ; and the Hampshire, 
Captain Fletcher— each with guns and sixty 
fighting men in addition to the regular crew. 
These ships were to meet the enemy sooner 
than was expected. In the last week of 
August 1697 the English fleet lay at the west 
end of Hudson Strait, befogged and sur- 
rounded by ice. Suddenly the fog lifted and 
revealed to the astonished Englishmen d' Iber- 
ville's fleet of five French warships : the 
Palmier to the rear, back in the straits ; the 
Wasp and the Violent, out in open water to 
the west; the Pelican, flying the flag of the 
Admiral, to the fore and free from the ice ; 
and the Profond, ice- jammed and within easy 
shooting range. The Hudson's Bay ships at 
once opened fire on the Profond, but this only 
loosened the ice and let the French ship 
escape. 

D'Iberville's aim was not to fight a naval 
battle but to secure the fort at Nelson. Accord- 



YEARS OF DISASTER 99 

ingly, spreading the Pelican's sails to the wind, 
he steered south-west, leaving the other ships 
to follow his example. Ice must have ob- 
structed him, for he did not anchor before 
Nelson till September 3. The place was held 
by the English and he could find no sign of his 
other ships. He waited two days, loading 
cannon, furbishing muskets, drilling his men, 
of whom a great many were French wood- 
runners sick with scurvy. On the morning 
of the 5th the lookout called down * A sail.' 
Never doubting but that the sail belonged to 
one of his own ships, d' Iberville hoisted anchor 
and fired cannon in welcome. No answering 
shot signalled back. There were sails of three 
ships now, and d' Iberville saw three English 
men-of-war racing over the waves to meet 
him, while shouts of wild welcome came 
thundering from the hostile fort to his rear. 

D' Iberville did not swerve in his course, nor 
waste ammunition by firing shots at targets 
out of range. Forty of his soldiers lay in their 
berths disabled by scurvy ; but he quickly 
mustered one hundred and fifty able-bodied 
men and ordered ropes to be stretched, for 
hand hold, across the slippery decks. The 
gunners below stripped naked behind the 
great cannon. Men were marshalled ready 



100 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

to board and rush the enemy when the ships 
locked. 

The Hampshire, under Captain Fletcher, with 
fifty-two guns and sixty fighting men, first 
came up within range and sent two roaring 
cannonades that mowed the masts and wheel- 
house from the Pelican down to bare decks. 
At the same time Grimmington's Dering and 
Smithsend's Hudson's Bay circled to the other 
side of the French ship and poured forth a 
pepper of musketry. 

D' Iberville shouted orders to the gunners 
to fire straight into the Hampshire's hull ; 
sharpshooters were to rake the decks of the 
two off - standing English ships, and the 
Indians were to stand ready to board. Two 
hours passed in sidling and shifting ; then 
the death grapple began. Ninety dead and 
wounded Frenchmen rolled on the Pelican's 
blood-stained decks. The fallen sails were 
blazing. The mast poles were splintered. 
Railings went smashing into the sea. The 
bridge crumbled. The Pelican's prow had been 
shot away. D'Iberville was still shouting to 
his gunners to fire low, when suddenly the 
Hampshire ceased firing and tilted. D'Iber- 
ville had barely time to unlock the Pelican from 
the death grapple, when the English frigate 



YEARS OF DISASTER loi 

lurched and, amid hiss and roar of flame in a 
wild sea, sank like a stone, engulfing her panic- 
stricken crew almost before the French could 
realize what had happened. Smithsend at 
once surrendered the Hudson's Bay, and Mike 
Grimmington fled for Nelson on the Dering. 

A fierce hurricane now rose and the English 
garrison at Nelson had one hope left — that the 
wild storm might wreck d'Iberville's ship and 
its absent convoys. Smashing billows and 
ice completed the wreck of the Pelican ; 
nevertheless the French commander succeeded 
in landing his men. When the storm cleared, 
his other ships came limping to his aid. Nelson 
stood back four miles from the sea, but by 
September ii the French had their cannon 
placed under the walls. A messenger was sent 
to demand surrender, and he was conveyed with 
bandaged eyes into the fort. Grimmington,^ 
Smithsend, Bailey, Kelsey — all were for hold- 
ing out ; but d'Iberville's brother, Serigny, 
came in under flag of truce and bade them 
think well what would happen if the hundred 
Indians were turned loose on the fort. Finally 
the English surrendered and marched out with 

1 Grimmington, with the Dering, had reached the fort in safety. 
Smithsend's captive ship, the Hudson's Bay, had been wrecked 
with the Pelican, but he himself had escaped to the fort. 



102 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

the honours of war. Grimmington sailed for 
England with as many of the refugees as his 
ship, the Bering, could convey. The rest, led 
by Bailey and Smithsend, marched overland 
south to the fort at Albany. 

The loss of Nelson fell heavily on the 
Hudson's Bay Company. Their ships were not 
paid for ; dividends stopped ; stock dropped 
in value. But still they borrowed money to 
pay ;^2o each to the sailors. The Treaty of 
Ryswick, which halted the war with France, 
provided that possession on the Bay should re- 
main as at the time of the treaty, and England 
held only Albany. 



CHAPTER VIII 

EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 

When the House of Orange came to the throne, 
it was deemed necessary that the Company's 
monopoly, originally granted by the Stuarts, 
should be confirmed. Nearly all the old share- 
holders, who had been friends of the Stuarts, 
sold out, and in 1697, the year of the disaster 
related in the last chapter, the Company applied 
for an extension of its royal charter by act of 
parliament. The fur buyers of London opposed 
the application on the grounds that : 

(i) The charter conferred arbitrary powers 
to which a private company had no right ; 

(2) The Company was a mere stock- jobbing 
concern of no benefit to the public ; 

(3) Beaver was sold at an extortionate 
advance ; bought at 6d. and sold for 6s. 

(4) The English claim to a monopoly drove 
the Indians to the French ; 

(5) Nothing was done to carry out the terms 

of the charter in finding a North-West Passage. 

10s 



104 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

All this, however, did not answer the great 
question : if the Company retired from the 
Bay, who or what was to resist the encroach- 
ments of the French ? This consideration 
saved the situation for the adventurers. Their 
charter was confirmed. 

The opposition to the extension of the charter 
compelled the Company to show what it had 
been doing in the way of exploration ; and the 
journey of Henry Kelsey, the London apprentice 
boy, to the country of the Assiniboines, was 
put on file in the Company records. Kelsey 
had not at first fitted in very well with the 
martinet rules of fort life at Nelson, and in 
1690, after a switching for some breach of 
discipline, he had jumped over the walls and 
run away with the Indians. Where he went 
on this first trip is not known. Some time 
before the spring of the next year an Indian 
runner brought word back to the fort from 
Kelsey : on condition of pardon he was willing 
to make a journey of exploration inland. The 
pardon was readily granted and the youth was 
supplied with equipment. Accordingly, on 
July 15, 1 69 1, Kelsey left the camping-place of 
the Assiniboines — thought to be the modern 
Split Lake — and with some Indian hunters set 
off overland on foot. It is difficult to follow his 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 105 

itinerary, for he employs only Indian names in 
his narrative. He travelled five hundred miles 
west of Split Lake presumably without touching 
on the Saskatchewan or the Churchill, for his 
journal gives not the remotest hint of these 
rivers. We are therefore led to believe that 
he must have traversed the semi-barren country 
west of Lac du Brochet, or Reindeer Lake as 
it is called on the map. He encountered vast 
herds of what he called buffalo, though his 
description reminds us more of the musk ox 
of the barren lands than of the buffalo. He 
describes the summer as very dry and game as 
very scarce, on the first part of the trip ; and 
this also applies to the half-barren lands west 
of Reindeer Lake. Hairbreadth escapes were 
not lacking on the trip of the boy explorer. 
Once, completely exhausted from a swift 
march, Kelsey fell asleep on the trail. When 
he awoke, there was not a sign of the strag- 
gling hunters. Kelsey waited for nightfall 
and by the reflection of the fires in the sky 
found his way back to the camp of his com- 
panions. At another time he awoke to find 
the high dry grass all about him in flames 
and his musket stock blazing. Once he met 
two grizzly bears at close quarters. The bears 
had no acquired instinct of danger from powder 



io6 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

and stood ground. The Indians dashed for 
trees. Kelsey fired twice from behind bunch 
willows, wounded both brutes, and won for 
himself the name of honour — Little Giant. 
Joining the main camp of Assiniboines at the 
end of August, Kelsey presented the Indian chief 
with a lace coat, a cap, guns, knives, and powder, 
and invited the tribe to go down to the Bay. 
The expedition won Kelsey instant promotion. 
Our old friend Radisson, from the time we 
last saw him — when * the Committee had 
discourse with him till dinner ' — lived on 
in London, receiving a quarterly allowance 
of ;£i2 los. from the Company; occasional 
gratuities for his services, and presents of furs 
to Madame Radisson are also recorded. The 
last entry of the payment of his quarterly 
allowance is dated March 29, 1710. Then, on 
July 12, comes a momentous entry : * the 
Sec. is ordered to pay Mr Radisson's widow as 
charity the sum of £6.* At some time between 
March 29 and July 12 the old pathfinder had 
set out on his last journey. Small profit his 
heirs reaped for his labours. Nineteen years 
later, September 24, 1729, the secretary was 
again ordered to pay ' the widow of Peter 
Radisson £10 as charity, she being very ill 
and in great want.* 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 107 

Meanwhile hostilities had been resumed 
between France and England ; but the Treaty 
of Utrecht in 1713 brought the game of war 
again to a pause and restored Hudson Bay to 
England. The Company received back all its 
forts on the Bay ; but the treaty did not define 
the boundaries to be observed between the fur 
traders of Quebec pressing north and the fur 
traders of the Bay pressing south, and this un- 
settled point proved a source of friction in after 
years. 

After the treaty the adventurers deemed it 
wise to strengthen all their forts. Moose, 
Albany, and Nelson, and two other forts recently 
established — Henley House and East Main — 
were equipped with stone bastions ; and when 
Churchill was built later, where Munck the 
Dane had wintered, its walls of solid stone 
were made stronger than Quebec's, and it was 
mounted with enough large guns to withstand 
a siege of European fleets of that day. 

The Company now regularly sent ships to 
Russia ; and from Russia the adventurers 
must have heard of Peter the Great's plan to 
find the North Passage. The finding of the 
Passage had been one of the reasons for the 
granting of the charter, and the fur buyers' 
petition against the charter had set forth that 



io8 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

small effort had been made in that direction. 
Now, at Churchill, Richard Norton and his son 
Moses, servants of the Company, had heard 
strange rumours from the Indians of a region 
of rare metals north-west inland. All these 
things the governor on the Bay, James Knight, 
pondered, as he cruised up and down from 
Albany to Churchill. Then the gold fever 
beset the Company, They sent for Knight. 
He was commissioned on June 3, 1719, to 
seek the North-West Passage, and, incidentally, 
to look for rare minerals. 

Four ships were in the fleet that sailed for 
Hudson Bay this year. Knight went on the 
Albany with Captain Barlow and fifty men. 
He waited only long enough at Churchill to 
leave provisions. Then, with the Discovery^ 
Captain Vaughan, as convoy, he sailed north 
on the Albany, On his ship were iron-bound 
caskets to carry back the precious metals of 
which he dreamed, and the framework for 
houses to be erected for wintering on the South 
Sea. With him went iron-forgers to work in 
the metals, and whalers from Dundee to chase 
the silver-bottoms of the Pacific, and a surgeon, 
to whom was paid the extraordinary salary of 
£$0 on account of the unusual peril of the voyage. 

What became of Knight? From the time 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 109 

he left Churchill, his journal ceases. Another 
threescore lives paid in toll to the insatiable 
sea ! No word came back in the summer of 
1720, and the adventurers had begun to look 
for him to return by way of Asia. Then three 
years passed, and no word of Knight or his 
precious metals. Kelsey cruised north on the 
Prosperous in 171 9, and Hancock on the 
Success in 1720 ; Napper and Scroggs and 
Crow on other ships on to 1736, but never a 
trace did they find of the argonauts. Norton, 
whaling in the north in 1726, heard disquieting 
rumours from the Indians, but it was not till 
Hearne went among the Eskimos almost fifty 
years later that Knight's fate became known. 
His ships had been totally wrecked on the 
east point of Marble Island, that white block 
of granite bare as a gravestone. Out of the 
wave -beaten wreckage the Eskimos saw a 
house arise as if by magic. The savages fled 
in terror from such a mystery, and winter — 
the terrible, hard, cutting cold of hyperborean 
storm — raged on the bare, unsheltered island. 
When the Eskimos came back in the summer of 
1720, a great many graves had been scooped 
among the drift sand and boulders. The sur- 
vivors were plainly starving, for they fell 
ravenously on the Eskimos' putrid whale meat. 



no THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

The next summer only two demented men were 
alive. They were clad in rabbit and fox skins. 
Their hair and beards had grown unkempt, 
and they acted like maniacs. Again the 
superstitious Eskimos fled in terror. Next 
summer when the savages came down to the 
coast no white men were alive. The wolves 
had scraped open a score of graves. 

It may be stated here that before 1759 the 
books of the Hudson's Bay Company show 
;£ioo,ooo spent in bootless searching and 
voyaging for the mythical North-West Pass- 
age. Nevertheless study-chair explorers who 
journeyed round the world on a map, con- 
tinued to accuse the Company of purposely 
refusing to search for the Passage, for fear of 
disturbing its monopoly. So violent did the 
pamphleteers grow that they forced a parlia- 
mentary inquiry in 1749 into the Company's 
charter and the Company's record, and what 
saved the Company then, as in 17 13, was the 
fact that the adventurers were the great 
bulwark against French aggression from 
Quebec. 

Arthur Dobbs, a gentleman and a scholar, 
had roused the Admiralty to send two ex- 
peditions to search for the North-West Passage. 
It is unnecessary for history to concern itself 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION iii 

with the ' tempest in a teapot ' that raged round 
these expeditions. Perhaps the Company did 
not behave at all too well when their own 
captain, Middleton, resigned to conduct the first 
one on the Furnace Bomb and the Discovery 
to the Bay. Perhaps wrong signals in the 
harbours did lead the searchers' ships to bad 
anchorage. At any rate Arthur Dobbs an- 
nounced in hysterical fury that the Company 
had bribed Middleton with £5000 not to find 
the Passage. Middleton had come back in 
1742 saying bluntly, in sailor fashion, that 
* there was no passage and never would 
be.' At once the Dobbs faction went into a 
frenzy. Baseless charges were hurled about 
with the freedom of bombs in a battle. Parlia- 
ment was roused to offer a reward of £20,000 
for the discovery of the Passage, and the in- 
defatigable Dobbs organized an opposition 
trading company — with a capital of ;^i 0,000 — 
and petitioned parliament for the exclusive 
trade. The Dobbs Galley, Captain Moon, and 
the California, Captain Smith, with the Shark, 
under Middleton, as convoy for part of the 
way, went out in 1746 with Henry Ellis, 
agent for Dobbs, aboard. The result of the 
voyage need not be told. There was the usual 
struggle with the ice jam in the north off 



112 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

Chesterfield Inlet, the usual suffering from 
scurvy. Something was accomplished on the 
exploration of Fox Channel, but no North- 
West Passage was found, a fact that told in 
favour of the Company when the parliamentary 
inquiry of 1749 came on. 

In the end, an influence stronger than the 
puerile frenzy of Arthur Dobbs forced the 
Company to unwonted activity in inland 
exploration. La Verendrye, the French Cana- 
dian, and his sons had come from the St 
Lawrence inland and before 1750 had estab- 
lished trading-posts on the Red river, on the 
Assiniboine, and on the Saskatchewan. After 
this fewer furs came down to the Bay. It was 
now clear that if the Indians would not come to 
the adventurers, the adventurers must go to the 
Indians. As a beginning one Anthony Hendry, 
a boy outlawed from the Isle of Wight for 
smuggling, was permitted to go back with the 
Assiniboines from Nelson in June 1754. 

Hendry's itinerary is not difficult to follow. 
The Indian place-names used by him are the 
Indian place-names used to-day by the Assini- 
boines. Four hundred paddlers manned the 
big brigade of canoes which he accompanied 
inland to the modern Oxford Lake and from 
Oxford to Cross Lake. The latter name ex- 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 113 

plains itself. Voyageurs could reach the 
Saskatchewan by coming on down westward 
through Playgreen Lake to Lake Winnipeg, 
or they could save the long detour round the 
north end of Lake Winnipeg — a hundred miles 
at least, and a dangerous stretch because of 
the rocky nature of the coast and the big waves 
of the shallow lake — by portaging across to 
that chain of swamps and nameless lakes, 
leading down to the expansion of the Sas- 
katchewan, known under the modern name 
of the Pas, It is quite plain from Hendry's 
narrative that the second course was followed, 
for he came to * the river on which the French 
have two forts ' without touching Lake 
Winnipeg ; and he gave his distance as five 
hundred miles from York,^ which would bring 
him by way of Oxford and Cross Lakes pre- 
cisely at the Pas. 

The Saskatchewan is here best described as 
an elongated swamp three hundred miles by 
seventy, for the current of the river proper 
loses itself in countless channels through reed- 
grown swamps and turquoise lakes, where the 
white pelicans stand motionless as rocks and 

^ Nelson. Throughout this narrative Nelson, the name of the 
port and river, is generally used instead of York, the name of 
the fort or factory. 

A.H.B. H 



114 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

the wild birds gather together in flocks that 
darken the sky and have no fear of man. 
Between Lake Winnipeg and Cumberland Lake 
one can literally paddle for a week and barely 
find a dry spot big enough for a tent among the 
myriad lakes and swamps and river channels 
overwashing the dank goose grass. Through 
these swamps runs the limestone cliff known 
as the Pasquia Hills — a blue lift of the swampy 
sky-line in a wooded ridge. On this ridge is 
the Pas fort. All the romance of the most 
romantic era in the West clings to the banks 
of the Saskatchewan — * Kis-sis-kat-chewan 
Sepie ' — swift angrily-flowing waters, as the 
Indians call it, with its countless unmapped 
lakes and its countless unmapped islands. Up 
and down its broad current from time im- 
memorial flitted the war canoes of the Cree, 
like birds of prey, to plunder the Blackfeet, 
or * Horse Indians.' Between these high, steep 
banks came the voyageurs of the old fur com- 
panies — * ti-aing-ti-aing ' in monotonous sing- 
song day and night, tracking the clumsy York 
boats up-stream all the way from tide water to 
within sight of the Rocky Mountains. Up these 
waters, with rapids so numerous that one loses 
count of them, came doughty traders of the 
Company with the swiftest paddlers the West 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 115 

has ever known. The gentleman in cocked 
hat and silk-lined overcape, with knee-buckled 
breeches and ruffles at wrist and throat, had 
a habit of tucking his sleeves up and dipping 
his hand in the water over the gunnels. If the 
ripple did not rise from knuckles to elbows, 
he forced speed with a shout of * Up-up, my 
men ! Up-up ! ' and gave orders for the regale 
to go round, or for the crews to shift, or for the 
Highland piper to set the bagpipes skirling. 

Hither, then, came Hendry from the Bay, 
the first Englishman to ascend the Saskat- 
chewan. ' The mosquitoes are intolerable,* he 
writes. * We came to the French house. Two 
Frenchmen came to the water side and invited 
me into their house. One told me his master 
and men had gone down to Montreal with furs 
and that he must detain me till his return ; 
but Little Bear, my Indian leader, only smiled 
and said, " They dare not." ' 

Somewhere between the north and south 
branches of the Saskatchewan, Hendry's 
Assiniboines met Indians on horseback, the 
Blackfeet, or * Archithinues,' as he calls them. 
The Blackfeet Indians tell us to-day that the 
Assiniboines and Crees used to meet the Black- 
feet to exchange the trade of the Bay at 
Wetaskiwin, * the Hills of Peace.' This exactly 



ii6 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

agrees with the itinerary, described by Hendry, 
after they crossed the south branch in Septem- 
ber and struck up into the Eagle Hills. Winter 
was passed in hunting between the points where 
Calgary and Edmonton now stand. Hendry 
remarks on the outcropping of coal on the north 
branch. The same outcroppings can be seen 
to-day in the high banks below Edmonton. 

It was on October 14 that Hendry was con- 
veyed to the main Blackfeet camp. 

The leader's tent was large enough to 
contain fifty persons. He received us seated 
on a buffalo skin, attended by twenty elderly 
men. He made signs for me to sit down on 
his right hand, which I did. Our leaders 
[the Assiniboines] set several great pipes 
going the rounds and we smoked according 
to their custom. Not one word was spoken. 
Smoking over, boiled buffalo flesh was 
served in baskets of bent wood. I was pre- 
sented with ten buffalo tongues. My guide 
informed the leader I was sent by the grand 
leader who lives on the Great Waters to 
invite his young men down with their furs. 
They would receive in return powder, shot, 
guns and cloth. He made little answer ; 
said it was far off, and his people could not 
paddle. We were then ordered to depart 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 117 

to our tents, which we pitched a quarter of 
a mile outside their lines. The chief told 
me his tribe never wanted food, as they 
followed the buffalo, but he was informed 
the natives who frequented the settlements 
often starved on their journey, which was 
exceedingly true. 

Hendry gave his position for the winter as 
eight hundred and ten miles west of York, or 
between the sites of modern Edmonton and 
Battleford. Ever3rwhere he presented gifts 
to the Indians to induce them to go down to 
the Bay. On the way back to York, the ex- 
plorers canoed all the way down the Sas- 
katchewan, and Hendry paused at Fort La 
Corne, half-way down to Lake Winnipeg. 
The banks were high, high as the Hudson river 
ramparts, and like those of the Hudson, heavily 
wooded. Trees and hills were intensest green, 
and ever5rwhere through the high banks for a 
hundred miles below what is now Edmonton 
bulged great seams of coal. The river gradu- 
ally widened until it was as broad as the Hudson 
at New York or the St Lawrence at Quebec. 
Hawks shrieked from the topmost boughs of 
black poplars ashore. Whole colonies of black 
eagles nodded and babbled and screamed from 
the long sand-bars. Wolf tracks dotted the soft 



ii8 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

mud of the shore, and sometimes what looked 
like a group of dogs came down to the bank, 
watched the boatmen land, and loped off. 
These were coyotes of the prairie. Again and 
again as the brigades drew in for nooning to the 
lee side of some willow-grown island, black- 
tailed deer leaped out of the brush almost over 
their heads, and at one bound were in the midst 
of a tangled thicket that opened a magic way 
for their flight. From Hendry's winter camp 
to Lake Winnipeg, a distance of almost a 
thousand miles, a good hunter could then, as 
now, keep himself in food summer and winter 
with but small labour. 

Most people have a mental picture of the 
plains country as flat prairie, with sluggish, 
winding rivers. Such a picture would not be 
true of the Saskatchewan. From end to end of 
the river, for only one interval is the course 
straight enough and are the banks low enough 
to enable the traveller to see in a line for eight 
miles. The river is a continual succession of 
half-circles, hills to the right, with the stream 
curving into a shadowy lake, or swerving out 
again in a bend to the low left ; or high-walled 
sandstone bluffs to the left sending the water 
wandering out to the low silt shore on the right. 
Not river of the Thousand Islands, like the 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 119 

St Lawrence, but river of Countless Islands, 
the Saskatchewan should be called. 

More ideal hunting ground could not be 
found. The hills here are partly wooded and 
in the valleys nestle lakes literally black with 
wild-fowl — bittern that rise heavy-winged and 
furry with a boo-m-m ; grey geese holding 
political caucus with raucous screeching of 
the honking ganders ; black duck and mallard 
and teal ; inland gulls white as snow and fear- 
less of hunters ; little match-legged phalaropes 
fishing gnats from the wet sand. 

The wildest of the buffalo hunts used to take 
place along this section of the river, or between 
what are now known as Pitt and Battleford. 
It was a common trick of the eternally warring 
Blackfeet and Cree to lie in hiding among the 
woods here and stampede all horses, or for the 
Blackfeet to set canoes adrift down the river 
or scuttle the teepees of the frightened Cree 
squaws who waited at this point for their 
lords' return from the Bay. 

Round that three-hundred-mile bend in the 
river known as * the Elbow ' the water is wide 
and shallow, with such numbers of sand-bars 
and shallows and islands that one is lost trying 
to keep the main current. Shallow water 
sounds safe and easy for canoeing, but dust- 



120 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

storms and wind make the Elbow the most 
trying stretch of water in the whole length of 
the river. Beyond this great bend, still called 
the Elbow, the Saskatchewan takes a swing 
north-eastthrough the true wilderness primeval. 
The rough waters below the Elbow are the first 
of twenty-two rapids round the same number of 
sharp turns in the river. Some are a mere 
rippling of the current, more noisy than 
dangerous ; others run swift and strong for 
sixteen miles. First are the Squaw Rapids, 
where the Indian women used to wait while the 
men went on down-stream with the furs. Next 
are the Cold Rapids, and boats are barely into 
calm water out of these when a roar gives 
warning of more to come, and a tall tree 
stripped of all branches but a tufted crest on 
top — known among Indians as a * lob-stick ' — 
marks two more rippling rapids. The Crooked 
Rapids send canoes twisting round point after 
point almost to the forks of the South Sas- 
katchewan. Here, five miles below the modern 
fur post, at a bend in the river commanding 
a great sweep of approach, a gay courtier of 
France built Fort La Corne. Who called the 
bold sand-walls to the right Heart Hills ? And 
how comes it that here are Cadotte Rapids, 
named after the famous voyageur family of 




^ir ?• 




■^7 










■:>^^m^ 






i 




re : 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 121 

Cadottes, whose ancestor gave his Hfe and his 
name to one section of the Ottawa ? 

Forty miles below La Corne is Nepawin, the 
* looking-out-place ' of the Indians for the 
coming trader, where the French had another 
post. And still the river widens and widens. 
Though the country is flat, the level of the river 
is ten feet below a crumbling shore worn sheer 
as a wall, with not the width of a hand for 
camping-place below. On a spit of the north 
shore was the camping-place known as Devil's 
Point, where no voyageur would ever stay 
because the long point was inhabited by demons. 
The bank is steep here, flanked by a swamp of 
huge spruce trees criss-crossed by the log-jam 
of centuries. The reason for the ill omen of 
the place is plain enough — a long point running 
out with three sides exposed to a bellowing 
wind. 

East of Devil's Point, the Saskatchewan 
breaks from its river bed and is lost for a 
hundred and fifty miles through a country of 
pure muskeg, quaking silt soft as sponge, 
overgrown with reed and goose grass. Here 
are not even low banks ; there are no banks at 
all. Canoes are on a level with the land, and 
reeds sixteen feet high line the aisled water 
channels. One can stand on prow or stern 



122 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

and far as eye can see is naught but reeds and 
waterways, waterways and reeds. 

Below the muskeg country lies Cumberland 
Lake. At its widest the lake is some forty 
miles across, but by skirting from island to 
island boatmen could make a crossing of only 
twenty-three miles. Far to the south is the 
blue rim of the Pas mountain, named from the 
Indian word Pasquia, meaning open country. 

Hendry's canoes were literally loaded with 
peltry when he drew in at the Pas. There he 
learned a bitter lesson on the meaning of a 
rival's suavity. The French plied his Indians 
with brandy, then picked out a thousand of 
his best skins, a trick that cost the Hudson's 
Bay Company some of its profit. 

On June i the canoes once more set out 
for York. With the rain-swollen current the 
paddlers easily made fast time and reached 
York on June 20. James Isham, the governor 
of the fort, realized that his men had brought 
down a good cargo of furs, but when Hendry 
began to talk of Indians on horseback, he was 
laughed out of the service. Who had ever 
heard of Indians on horseback ? The Com- 
pany voted Hendry ;^20 reward, and Isham by 
discrediting Hendry's report probably thought 
to save himself the trouble of going inland. 



EXPANSION AND EXPLORATION 123 

But the unseen destiny of world movement 
rudely disturbed the lazy trader's indolent 
dream. In four years French power fell at 
Quebec, and the wildwood rovers of the St 
Lawrence, unrestricted by the new govern- 
ment and soon organized under the leadership 
of Scottish merchants at Montreal, invaded 
the sacred precincts of the Company's inmost 
preserve. 

In other volumes of this Series we shall learn 
more of the fur lords and explorers in the 
great West and North of Canada ; of the fierce 
warfare between the rival traders ; of the 
opening up of great rivers to commerce, and 
of the founding of colonies that were to grow 
into commonwealths. We shall witness the 
gradual, stubborn, and unwilling retreat of the 
fur trade before the onmarching settler, until 
at last the Dominion government took over 
the vast domain known as Rupert's Land, and 
the Company, founded by the courtiers of King 
Charles and given absolute sway over an empire, 
fell to the status of an ordinary commercial 
organization. 



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 

On the era prior to the Cession (1763) very few- 
printed records of the Hudson's Bay Company 
exist. Most books on the later period— in which 
the conflict with the North-West Company took 
place — have cursory sketches of the early era, 
founded chiefly on data handed down by word of 
mouth among the servants and officers of the 
Company. On this early period the documents 
in Hudson's Bay House, London, must always 
be the prime authority. These documents consist 
in the main of the Minute Books of some two 
hundred years, the Letter Books, the Stock 
Books, the Memorial Books, and the Daily 
Journals kept from 1670 onwards by chief traders 
at every post and forwarded to London. There 
is also a great mass of unpublished material 
bearing on the adventurers in the Public Record 
Office, London. Transcripts of a few of these 
documents are to be found in the Canadian 
Archives, Ottawa, and in the Newberry Library, 
Chicago. Transcripts of four of the Radisson 
Journals — copied from the originals in the Bod- 
leian Library, Oxford — are possessed by the 
Prince Society, Boston. Of modern histories 

125 



126 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

dealing with the early era Beckles Willson's Ttae 
Great Company (1899), George Bryce's Remarkable 
history of the Hudson's Bay Company (1900), and 
Laut's Conquest of the Great North-West (1899) are 
the only works to be taken seriously. Willson's 
is marred by many errors due to a lack of local 
knowledge of the West. Bryce's work is free of 
these errors, but, having been issued before the 
Archives of Hudson's Bay House were open for 
more than a few weeks at a time, it lacks first- 
hand data from headquarters; though to Bryce 
must be given the honour of unearthing much of 
the early history of Radisson. Laut's Conquest of 
the Great North-West contains more of the early 
period from first-hand sources than the other two 
works, and, indeed, follows up Bryce as pupil to 
master, but the author perhaps attempted to 
cover too vast a territory in too brief a space. 

Data on Hudson's tragic voyages come from 
Purchas His Pllgrlmes and the Hakluyt Society 
Publications for i860 edited by Asher. Jens 
Munck's voyage is best related in the Hakluyt 
Publications for 1897. Laut's Pathfinders of the 
West gives fullest details of Radisson's various 
voyages. The French State Papers for 1670-1700 
in the Canadian Archives give full details of the 
international quarrels over Radisson's activities. 
On the d'Iberville raids, the French State Papers 
are again the ultimate authorities, though sup- 
plemented by the Jesuit Relations of those years. 
The Colonial Documents of New York State 



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 127 

(16 vols.), edited by O'Callaghan, give details of 
French raids on Hudson Bay. Radisson's various 
petitions will be found in Laut's Conquest of the 
Great Nortb-West. These are taken from the 
Public Records, London, and from the Hudson's 
Bay Company's Archives. Chouart's letters are 
found in the Documents de la Nouvelle France, 
Tome I— 1492-1712. Father Sylvie, a Jesuit who 
accompanied the de Troyes expedition, gives the 
fullest account of the overland raids. These are 
supplemented by the affidavits of the captured 
Englishmen (State Papers, Public Records, Lon- 
don), by La Potherie's Hlstoire de I'Amerlque, by 
Jeremie's account in the Bernard Collection of 
Amsterdam, and by the Relations of Abb^ Belmont 
and Dollier de Casson. The reprint of the 
Radisson Journals by the Prince Society of Boston 
deserves commendation as a first effort to draw 
attention to Radisson's achievements ; but the 
work is marred by the errors of an English copyist, 
who evidently knew nothing of Western Indian 
names and places, and very plainly mixed his 
pages so badly that national events of 1660 are 
confused with events of 1664, errors ascribed to 
Radisson's inaccuracy. Benjamin Suite, the 
French-Canadian historian, in a series of papers 
for the Royal Society of Canada has untangled 
this confusion. 

Robson's Hudson's Bay gives details of the 
1754 period ; but Robson was a dismissed em- 
ployee of the Company, and his Relation is so 



128 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

full of bitterness that it is not to be trusted. The 
events of the search for a North-West Passage 
and the Middleton Controversy are to be found in 
Ellis's Voyage of the Dobbs and California (1748) 
and the Parliamentary Report of 1749. Later 
works by fur traders on the spot or descendants 
of fur traders— such as Gunn, Hargreaves, Ross — 
refer casually to this early era and are valuable for 
local identification, but quite worthless for authen- 
tic data on the period preceding their own lives. 
This does not impair the value of their records 
of the time in which they lived. It simply means 
that they had no data but hearsay on the early 
period. 

See also in this Series: Ttie Jesuit Missions; 
The Great Intendant ; The Fighting Governor; 
Pathfinders of the Great Plains ; Pioneers of the 
Pacific Coast; Adventurers of the Far North; The 
Red River Colony. 



INDEX 



Albanel, Father, at Rupert, 

51- 
Albemarle, Duke of, member of 

Hudson's Bay Company, 36. 
Allen, Captain, takes Port 

Nelson from French, 96; 

killed, 97. 
Arlington, Earl of, 36. 
Assiniboines, or Stone Boilers, 

tribe of Indians, 29, 104, 106, 

112, 113. 

Baffin Bay, named after mate 
of Bylot's ship, 21. 

Bailey, Captain, sent to Nelson, 
94; defends fort, 95; sur- 
renders, 101-2. 

Bayly, Charles, governor of 
Rupert, 48 ; on cruise with 
Radisson, 51 ; accuses Radis- 
son and Groseiiliers of dupli- 
city, 52. 

Blackfeet Indians, 115, 116. 

Bond, Captain, 68 ; sails for 
Hudson Bay, 73 ; captured 
by d' Iberville, 92. 

Boston, Radisson and Groseii- 
liers at, 32. 

Bridgrar, John, governor of 
Rupert, 60 ; taken prisoner 
by Radisson, 63 ; released 
by La Barre, 64 ; again 
governor, 74 ; ship captiu-ed 
by d' Iberville, 83-4. 



Button, Thomas, sent to search 

for Hudson, 21 
Bylot, Robert, his search for 

Hudson, 21. 

Cadotte Rapids, 120. 

Carteret, Sir George, com- 
missioner, takes Radisson 
and Groseiiliers to England, 

34- 
Charles II receives Radisson 

and Groseiiliers, 34, 36. 
Charlton Island, where Hudson 

probably was set adrift, 18 ; 

Captain James winters at, 

27 ; spies marooned at, 79. 
Chateauguay, d'Iberville's 

brother, killed at Nelson, 95, 
Chesnaye, Aubert de la, fur 

trader, 54; fits out expedition, 

55- 

Chouart, Jean, helps La Ches- 
naye's expedition, 55 ; tricked 
on board * Happy Return,' 
69 ; joins Hudson's Bay 
Company with the intention 
of betraying it, 70-2. 

Churchill, Lord, Duke of Marl- 
borough, governor of Hud- 
son's Bay Company, 42, 73, 80. 

Churchill, port, discovery of, 
23 ; Danes winter at, 24 ; fur 
traders at, 26; strength of 
fort at, 107. 



I 



130 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 

France, 51 ; meets Radisson 
and Groseilliers, 55. 

Geyer, Captain, 68. 

Gibbon, Captain, 21. 

Gillam, Ben, 58 ; arrested in 
Boston, 64 ; becomes a 
pirate and is executed, 64. 

Gillam Island, 58. 

Gillam, Zachanah, Boston sea 
captain, 32 ; in the service of 
the Hudson's Bay Company, 
35. 37. 39, 48; at Fort 
Charles, 52 ; perishes, 61. 

Gorst, Thomas, secretary of 
the Hudson's Bay Company, 
35; sails for Hudson Bay, 
48. 

Grand Rapids, 3, 4; portage, 
6. 

Greene, Henry, with Hudson, 
ID, 15; mutiny, 17; death, 
20. 

Grimmingfton, Mike, with Ben 
Gillam, 59 ; with the Hudson's 
Bay Company, 68, 73 ; taken 
prisoner, 78 ; re-captures 
Albany, 93 ; sent to Hudson 
Bay, 98, 100 ; flees to Nelson, 
loi ; sails for England with 
refugees, 102. 

Groseilliers, Medard Chouart 
des, French pathfinder, 27 ; 
veteran of Jesuit missions, 
28; goes to Hudson Bay 
with Radisson, 29, 30 ; goes 
to France for redress for 
seizure of furs, 31 ; returns 
to Three Rivers, 32 ; goes 
to Anticosti, Port Royal, and 
Boston, 32; presented to 
Charles 1 1 , 34 ; receives gold 
chain and medal, 36 ; ex- 
plores Hudson Bay country, 
39; with 1670 expedition, 



Colbert, minister of France, 

53-4. 
Cold Rapids, 120. 
Colleton, Sir Peter, 36. 
Columbia river, explorers on, 7. 
Company of the North, 55-6, 

72. 
Craven, Earl of, 36. 
Crooked Rapids, 120. 

Dablon, Father, ascends the 
Saguenay, 28. 

Danby Island, 19. 

Denonville, M. de, governor of 
New France, 76. 

Bering, Sir Edward, rewarded 
for pushing claim against 
France, 90. 

Digges, English merchant 
adventurer, 9 ; finances 
search for Hudson, 21, 22. 

Dobbs, Arthur, and the North- 
West Passage, 1 10-12. 

Drax, Lady Margaret, 36. 

Dreuilletes, Father, ascends 
the Saguenay, 28. 

Evance, Sir Stephen, governor 
of Hudson's Bay Company, 
74. 81, 92. 

Fletcher, Captain, 98, loo-i. 

Fort Albany, 74, 75, 107 ; P^r6 
imprisoned in, 79. 

Fort Charles, established by 
Groseilliers, 39, 49. 

Fort Chipewyan, 6. 

Fort Edmonton, 7. 

Fort Frances, story of a resi- 
dent of, 19. 

Fort Garry, i. 

Fort La Come, 120. 

Fort Moose, 47, 81, 83, 107. 

Fox, Captain, 26, 27. 

Frontenac, governor of New 



INDEX 



131 



48; back in England de- 
manding better terms, 53 ; 
goes to New France, 54 ; on 
n:r-trading expedition, 56 ; 
returns to Quebec and to 
France, 64, 65 ; retires to 
home near Three Rivers, 
66. 

Hannah Bay, 12; d'Iberville 
crosses, 83. 

Hayes river, named by 
Radisson, 49, 57. 

Hayes, Sir James, secretary 
to Prince Rupert, 36, 37 ; 
meets Radisson, 67. 

Hearne, hears fate of Knight's 
party, 109. 

Hendry, Anthony, his inland 
journey on behalf of the Com- 
pany, 112-22. 

Henley House, 107. 

Hudson, Henry, his search for 
North-West Passage, 9-13; 
shipwrecked, 13; his hard 
time on shore with mutinous 
crew, 13-16 ; cast adrift, 18 ; 
traditions as to end, 18, 19. 

Hudson's Bay Company, dog 
brigades of, 1-2 ; extent of em- 
pire, 6-7 ; origin and forma- 
tion of, 34-50 ; engages Radis- 
son, 67 ; dividends and vessels 
of, 72 -5, 102; disastrous 
conflicts with the French, 
75-88, 92-102 ; activities of 
in council, 89-90 ; claims 
damages agamst France, 
91 ; their charter confirmed, 
103-4; forts restored by 
Treaty of Utrecht, 107 ; 
commissions James Knight 
to find North-West Passage, 
108-10 ; parliamentary in- 



quiry into charter and record 
of, no. 
Hume, Captain, 73; taken 
prisoner to Quebec, 78; 
ransomed, 80. 

Iberville, Pierre Le Moyne d', 
his raids in Hudson Bay, 
83-4, 92-3 ; attacks and takes 
Port Nelson, 94-5; in com- 
mand of five French war- 
ships, 97-8 ; naval battle on 
Hudson Bay, 99-101 ; again 
takes Nelson, 101-2. 

Isham, James, governor of 
York, 122. 

James, Captain, 18 ; searches 
for North - West Passage, 
26 ; meets Captain Fox and 
winters on Charlton Island, 
27. 

James, Duke of York (James II), 

36, 42. . 

Jesuits, their expedition over- 
land to Hudson Bay, 28. 

Juet, mate of ' Discovery,' 10 ; 
mutinies, 12, 17 ; death, 20. 

Kelsey, Henry, 68 ; sent to 
Nelson, 94 ; defends fort, 
95, loi ; his journey of 
exploration, 104-6 : searches 
for Knight, 109. 

Kirke, Sir John, 35, 36; his 
claim against France, 54. 

Knight, James, 81 ; governor 
of Albany, 94 ; commissioned 
to find North-West Passage, 
108 ; his fate, 109. 

La Barre, governor of New 

France, 63-4. 
La Chesnaye, fur trader, in 

attack on Hudson Bay posts, 

81, 84-7. 



132 THE ADVENTURERS ON HUDSON BAY 



La Forest, surrenders at 
Nelson, 96. 

La Martiniere, 75, 76, 80. 

La Verendrye, establishes fur- 
trading posts on Red river, 
112. 

Le Meux, Captain, surrenders 
at Fort Albany, 93. 

Le Moyne brothers, adven- 
turers of Nev7 France, 79, 
81-3. See Iberville, Serigny, 
and Chateauguay. 

Middleton, Captain, and the 
North- West Passage, iii. 

Moon, Captain, 93, iii. 

Munck, Jens, winters vsrith 
ship at Churchill, 23-4 ; 
record of voyage, 24-6. 

Nelson, Port, Button's crev7 
encamped at, 21 ; fur post, 
81 ; captured, loi ; restored, 
107. See York Factory. 

Nepawin, 121, 

Nev7 France, explorers of, 27 ; 
Jesuits in, 28 ; fur trade of, 
29. 

Nixon, governor at Moose, 

74, 75- 
Northern Lights, 14 note. 
North- West Passage, 9, 22, 

40, 107, 108, no. III. 

Norton, Moses, 108. 
Norton, Richard, 108. 

Outlaw, Captain John, 58, 68, 

73, 77. 
Pepys, Samuel, 38. 
P6re, Jean, taken prisoner, 78, 

79, 84 ; his release demanded, 

86. 
Phipps, William, governor of 

Port Nelson, 68, 74. 
Portman, John, 35. 



Radisson, Pierre Esprit, ex- 
plorer, 8, 19 ; hears of Sea of 
the North, 27 ; refused per- 
mission to trade, 29 ; leaves 
Three Rivers by night, 29 ; 
goes to Hudson Bay, 29, 30 ; 
furs seized by governor at 
Quebec, 31 ; goes to Port 
Royal and Boston, 32 ; pre- 
sented to Charles II in 
England, 34 ; receives gold 
chain and medal, 36 ; and the 
Hudson's Bay Company, 40; 
made general superintendent 
of trade, 48 ; returns to 
England, 49 ; marries Mary 
Kirke, 49 ; suspected of 
treachery at Rupert, 51-2; 
returns to England, 53 ; joins 
French Navy, 53 ; goes again 
to New France, 54 ; leads 
French expedition to Bay, 
55-7 ; explores Hayes river, 
57 ; captures Ben Gillam's 
fort, 61 ; captures Bridgar, 
62 ; sets out for Quebec with 
prisoners and booty, 63 ; La 
Barre strips him of ship and 
booty, 64 ; returns to Paris, 
65 ; ordered by France to 
return fur posts to Hudson's 
Bay Company, 66 ; takes 
oath of allegiance to England, 
67 ; returns to the Bay, 68 ; 
returns to England, 70 ; goes 
again to Hudson Bay, 73 ; 
reappointed superintendent of 
trade, 74; price set on his 
head by France, 76 ; his 
claims for services repudiated, 
91 ; assists Company in claim 
for damages, 91-2; death, 106. 

Randolph, Mr, of the American 
Plantations, 64. 



INDEX 



T^33 



Robinson, Sir John, 35, 36. 
Romulus, Peter, surgeon, 35, 

48. 
Rupert, 81 ; captured by French, 

84. 
Rupert, Pnnce, 36, 42. 
Rupert's Land, taken over by 

Dominion government, 123. 
Ryswick, Treaty of, 91, 102. 

St John, Lake, Jesuit mission 
near, 28. 

Sandford, Red Cap, 76, 81. 

Sargeant, Henry, governor at 
Albany, 74, 75 ; attacked by 
French, 86 ; surrenders, 87. 

Saskatchewan river, 2, 7 ; 
description, 1 13-15, 118-21. 

Serigny, d' Iberville's brother, 
96, lOI. 

Shaftesbury, Earl of, 36. 

Smithsend, Captain, 73 ; taken 
prisoner, 78 ; from a dungeon 
in Quebec sends a letter of 
warning to England, 79 ; 
reaches England, 81 ; sails 
for Hudson Bay, 98, 100 ; 
surrenders ship to d' Iberville, 



loi ; escapes to Nelson, loi 

note ; goes to Albany, 102. 
Sorrel, Dame, helps to finance 

French expedition to Hudson 

Bay, 55. 
Squaw Rapids, 120. 
Stanna«-d, Captain, 37. 
Strangers, River of, 26. 

Three Rivers, Radisson and 
I Groseilliers return to, 27, 28, 
i 66. 

I Troyes, Chevalier de, 79, 81, 
I 83, 85. 

i Utrecht, Treaty of, 107. 

i Vaughan, Captain, 108. 
Viner, Sir Robert, 35, 36. 

William of Orange, 90. 

Winnipeg, i. 

Wolstenholme, English mer- 
chant, 9 ; finances search 
for Hudson, 21, 22. 

York Factory, 113 and note 

117. See Nelson. 
Young, Mr, 35, 67, 91. 



Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty 
at the Edinburgh University Press 



THE CHRONICLES OF CANADA 

Edited by George M. Wrong and H. H. Langton 
of the University of Toronto 

A series of thirty- two freshly-written narratives for 
popular reading, designed to set forth, in historic con- 
tinuity, the principal events and movements in Canada, 
from the Norse Voyages to the Railway Builders. 



PART I. THE FIRST EUROPEAN VISITORS 

1. The Dawn of Canadian History 

A Chronicle of Abcrig-inal Canada 

BY STEPHEN LEACOCK 

2. The Mariner of St Malo 

A Chronicle of the Voyages of Jacques Cartier 
BY STEPHEN LEACOCK 

PART II. THE RISE OF NEW FRANCE 

3. The Founder of New France 

A Chronicle of Champlain 

BY CHARLES W. COLBY 

4. The Jesuit Missions 

A Chronicle of the Cross in the Wilderness 

BY THOMAS GUTHRIE MARQUIS 

5. The Seigneurs of Old Canada 

A Chronicle of New- World Feudalism 

BY WILLIAM BENNETT MUNRO 

6. The Great Intendant 

A Chronicle of Jean Talon 

BY THOMAS CHAPAIS 

7. The Fighting Governor 

A Chronicle of Frontenac 

BY CHARLES W. COLBY 



The Chronicles of Canada 

PART III. THE ENGLISH INVASION 

8. The Great Fortress 

A Chronicle of Louisbourg 

BY WILLIAM WOOD 

9. The Acadian Exiles 

A Chronicle of the Land of Evangeline 

BY ARTHUR G. DOUGHTY 

10. The Passing of New France 

A Chronicle of Montcalm 

BY WILLIAM WOOD 

11. The Winning of Canada 

A Chronicle of Wolfe 

BY WILLIAM WOOD 

PART IV. THE BEGINNINGS OF BRITISH CANADA 

12. The Father of British Canada 

A Chronicle of Carleton 

BY WILLIAM WOOD 

13. The United Empire Loyalists 

A Chronicle of the Great Migration 

BY W. STEWART WALLACE 

14. The War with the United States 

A Chronicle of 1812 

BY WILLIAM WOOD 

PART V. THE RED MAN IN CANADA 

15. The War Chief of the Ottawas 

A Chronicle of the Pontiac War 

BY THOMAS GUTHRIE MARQUIS 

16. The War Chief of the Six Nations 

A Chronicle of Joseph Brant 

BY LOUIS AUBREY WOOD 

17. Tecumseh 

A Chronicle of the last Great Leader of his People 
BY ETHEL T. RAYMOND 



The Chronicles of Canada 

PART VI. PIONEERS OF TKE NORTH AND WEST 

1 8. The ^Adventurers of England ' on Hudson 

Bay 

A Chronicle of the Fur Trade in the North 
BY AGNES C. LAUT 

19. Pathfinders of the Great Plains 

A Chronicle of La V^rendrye and his Sons 

BY LAWRENCE J. BURPEE 

20. Adventurers of the Far North 

A Chronicle of the Arctic Seas 

BY STEPHEN LEACOCK 

21. The Red River Colony 

A Chronicle of the Beginnings of Manitoba 

BY LOUIS AUBREY WOOD 

22. Pioneers of the Pacific Coast 

A Chronicle of Sea Rovers and Fur Hunters 
BY AGNES C. LAUT 

23. The Cariboo Trail 

A Chronicle of the Gold-fields of British Columbia 
BY AGNES C. LAUT 

PART VII. THE STRUGGLE FOR POLITICAL FREEDOM 

24. The Family Compact 

A Chronicle of the Rebellion in Upper Canada 

BY W. STEWART WALLACE 

25. The Patriotes of '37 

A Chronicle of the Rebellion in Lower Canada 
BY ALFRED D. DECELLES 

26. The Tribune of Nova Scotia 

A Chronicle of Joseph Howe 

BY WILLIAM LAWSON GRANT 

27. The Winning of Popular Government 

A Chronicle of the Union of 1841 

BY ARCHIBALD MACMECHAN 



The Chronicled of Canada 

PART VIII. THE GROWTH OF NATIONALITY 

28. The Fathers of Confederation 

A Chronicle of the Birth of the Dominion 

BY A. H. U. COLQUHOUN 

29. The Day of Sir John Macdonald 

A Chronicle of the Early Years of the Dominion 
BY SIR JOSEPH POPE 

30. The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier 

A Chronicle of Our Own Times 

BY OSCAR D. SKELTON 

PART IX. NATIONAL HIGHWAYS 

31. All Afloat 

A Chronicle of Craft and Waterways 

BY WILLIAM WOOD 

32. The Railway Builders 

A Chronicle of Overland Highways 

BY OSCAR D. SKELTON 



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